It is time to tell the truth about the ERAP program. That is the emergency rental assistance program. There are multiple programs offered through the county and each city. Originally offering a lower percentage of pay back, the program eventually offered 100% of unpaid and future rent.
The county ERAP application selection had prioritization:
- Including having household income at or below 50% of the area median income.
- One of more household members being unemployed and have not been employed for 90 days.
- Single Parent Households
- Health Equity
To date we have helped procure a total amount received is over $120,530.81 The highest amount was for a resident in the amount of $18,000.00. Sounds good right? Well, there is a lot of time spent navigating the programs, eligibility, application process and payment procedure.
Some real-life examples:
#1: App Submitted 3/16/2021, App Approved 4/26/2021, funds received 6/16/2021 and 7/7/2021.
#2: App Submitted 5/27/2021, App Approved 8/11/2021, funds received 8/16/2021.
#3: App Submitted 7/13/2021- no response, App resubmitted 9/28/2021, Still no response.
There is no set standard of who does and doesn’t get approved. Also, there is no set timetable on when everything happens causing frustration for us as well as residents and owners. We have two dedicated people actively working to make sure we do every little step correct. Trying to follow up with residents and owners about their status. Applications are in limbo causing delays in any notices being served as well.
If we need to serve a 3-day notice, we must prove we have done everything we can to collect rent, which includes applying for rental assistance on behalf of the tenant. This is causing a hiccup in the fact that the application asks questions about the resident’s ethnicity and gender identity. Everything we have ever been taught to not consider; we are now being asked to answer on the resident’s behalf. Doesn’t make total sense.
Did the program do its job? Sure, but at a significant cost to a small business like ours. We are grateful our residents and homeowners were able to receive help.