Rental Assistance Programs By State

Since the beginning of the pandemic, renters have been protected from eviction and not required to pay rent if they can prove financial hardships due to COVID-19.

However, the rent payments are not forgiven entirely. They are in a forbearance program which means the rent must be paid back at a later date.

A number of states are now offering relief to both tenants and landlords, with rental assistance programs designed to forgive past due rent and reimburse landlords.

We break down the programs by state and will keep this page updated as more programs are established.


Arizona

What Is The Program?

The Arizona Department of Economic Security released its Emergency Rental Assistance Program, using funds from the federal Appropriations Act, to help with rent and utility assistance for renters and landlords.

Who Is Eligible?

Rental assistance is available to both landlords and renters. While both may apply for assistance, eligibility is based on the renters address and ability to meet the federal rules. The eligibility requirements follow the federal Emergency Rental Assistance requirements. Read more about Arizona’s rules HERE.

How Much Help Do Renters Get?

An eligible household may receive up to $3,500 per month for both rent and utility assistance, depending on their need. Past due balances dating back to March 2020 will be given priority. Future assistance is available for a maximum of 15 months.

One-time assistance of up to $500 is available to landlords for court and attorney-related cost associated with each house unit or rental.

Assistance payments will be given directly to landlords and/or utility service providers.

How Do You Apply?

Applicants can apply from their own homes using the ERAP online portal . Applicants unable to apply online may apply by phone through the ERAP hotline at 1-833-912-0878.

During the application, renters will need to provide a copy of lease/rental agreement, photo ID, electricity and/or gas bill, disconnection notice (if any), proof of income, eviction notice (if applicable) and proof or explanation of their hardship, such as a termination letter.

Here are some frequently asked questions for renters and landlords.

California

What Is The Program?

The California COVID-19 rent relief program went live on Monday, March 15th 2021, using funds from the December federal stimulus law. There is over $2 billion available in funds, with cities such as Santa Clarita setting up a $321 million fund to supplement the statewide program.

Within 24 hours, over 20,000 renters had already applied. Utility relief programs are also available under this program.

Who Is Eligible?

The eligibility requirements follow the federal Emergency Rental Assistance requirements. To be eligible for the California COVID-19 relief program, you must be able to demonstrate financial hardship due to the pandemic, and be at some level of risk of homelessness.

Additionally, you must be at or below 80% of the median income for an area, based on your 2020 or current income level. This program does not factor in your pre-2020 income.

Californians outside Los Angeles can be eligible if their income is 80% of their area’s median or less; however, applicants with incomes of 50% or less will have priority. According to Los Angeles’ housing department, the city could expand eligibility to those making above 50% of an area‘s median income if more money becomes available, but at the moment it expects funds to run out before everyone making 50% or less is helped.

How Much Help Do Renters Get?

All the rent debt accrued from April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021 can be forgiven if the property owners agrees with the tenant to forgive 20% of the debt.

If the property owner agrees to this, they will be reimbursed the remaining 80% of owed rent and the tenant will have their entire debt forgiven.

If the property owner does not agree to this, the program will provide 25% of the owed rent to be paid to the landlord. This is to prevent the landlord from evicting the tenant.

Under state rules, landlords cannot evict tenants if 25% of the owed rent is paid back by June 30th, 2021.

How Do You Apply?

Both landlords and tenants can apply on the state’s website here, or by calling 833-430-2122.

Note, there are a few cities handling the program on their own, including Los Angeles and Long Beach. The state website will redirect residents of these cities to the local resources when they try to apply.

If you live in Los Angeles, tenants can apply directly, or landlords can apply on their behalf beginning on. Applications open at 8 a.m. on March 30 and close at 11:59 p.m. April 30. Priority will be given to households earning 30% or less of an area‘s median income, and tenants are eligible regardless of their immigration status. You can apply HERE if you live in Los Angeles. 


Florida

What Is The Program?

Florida is receiving $1.4 billion in federal assistance money to help renters, with $850 million of that administered directly by the state. Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties plan to work directly with tenants most at risk of eviction.

Who Is Eligible?

The eligibility requirements follow the federal Emergency Rental Assistance requirements. To be eligible for Florida’s COVID-19 relief program, you must be able to demonstrate financial hardship due to the pandemic, and be at some level of risk of homelessness.

Additionally, you must be at or below 80% of the median income for an area, based on your 2020 or current income level. This program does not factor in your pre-2020 income. If your household is below 50% or you have been unemployed for 90 days prior to applying, you will get priority.

How Much Help Do Renters Get?

You may receive up to 12 months of assistance, plus an additional 3 months if the grantee determines the extra months are needed to ensure housing stability and grantee funds are available. The payment of existing housing-related arrears that could result in eviction of an eligible household is prioritized. Assistance must be provided to reduce an eligible household’s rental arrears before the household may receive assistance for future rent payments. Once a household’s rental arrears are reduced, grantees may only commit to providing future assistance for up to three months at a time. Households may reapply for additional assistance at the end of the three-month period if needed and the overall time limit for assistance is not exceeded.

How Do You Apply?

An application for rental assistance may be submitted by either an eligible household or by a landlord on behalf of that eligible household.  Households and landlords must apply through programs established by grantees.  In general, funds will be paid directly to landlords and utility service providers.  If a landlord does not wish to participate, funds may be paid directly to the eligible household. 


Georgia

What Is The Program?

The $522 million State of Georgia Rental Assistance Program (GRA) will be used to bring past due rent and utility payments current and will be administered by The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA.) Applications begin in early March with money distributed directly to landlords and eligible tenants.

How Much Help Do Renters Get?

Eligible tenants will receive up to 12 months of payment relief, although some may qualify for up to 15 months. No rent cap is specified.

Who Is Eligible?

The eligibility requirements follow the federal Emergency Rental Assistance requirements. To be eligible for Georgia’s Rental Assistance Program program, you must be able to demonstrate financial hardship due to the pandemic, and be at some level of risk of homelessness.

Additionally, you must be at or below 80% of the median income for an area, based on your 2020 or current income level. This program does not factor in your pre-2020 income. If your household is below 50% or you have been unemployed for 90 days prior to applying, you will get priority.

People who already receive a monthly federal subsidy do not qualify.

How Do You Apply?

Landlords and tenants can apply on the Georgia Rental Assistance Program website.


Illinois

What Is The Program?

The Illinois house Development Authority will soon release it’s 2021 Illinois Rental Payment Program. The Illinois Rental Payment Program (RPP) is funded by a $500 million grant under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

How Much Help Do Renters Get?

The Illinois Rental Payment Program is not accepting applications as it will launch in April 2021. Cook County’s COVID-19 Recovery Rental Assistance Program can pay up to 12 months of missed rent and utilities payments and up to 3 months of future rent payments. Payments will be made directly to your landlord.

Who Is Eligible?

The eligibility requirements follow the federal Emergency Rental Assistance requirements. To be eligible for Illinois’s Rental Assistance Program program, you must be able to demonstrate financial hardship due to the pandemic, and be at some level of risk of homelessness.

Additionally, you must be at or below 80% of the median income for an area, based on your 2020 or current income level. This program does not factor in your pre-2020 income. If your household is below 50% or you have been unemployed for 90 days prior to applying, you will get priority.

People who already receive a monthly federal subsidy do not qualify.

How Do You Apply?

The Illinois Rental Payment Program is not accepting applications as it will launch in April 2021. Cook County COVID-19 Recovery Rental Assistance Program can pay up to 12 months of missed rent and utilities payments and up to 3 months of future rent payments. Payments will be made directly to your landlord andThe Illinois House Development Authority is currently developing its Rental Payment Program with an anticipated launch date of April 2021. Please continue to check out their website for updates.

Note – there are a few counties handling the program on their own, like Cook County. The state website will redirect residents of these cities to the local resources when they try to apply. Applications for Cook County are open from March 11, 2021 and will be accepted until April 2, 2021. You can apply at the Cook County’s COVID-19 Recovery Rental Assistance Website.


Indiana

What Is The Program?

The Indiana Housing Now Organization reopened The Emergency Rental Assistance (IERA) program on Monday, April 5, 2021 for residents struggling to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is designed to decrease evictions, increase housing stability, and prevent homelessness by helping renters whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19 with rent and utility assistance. 

How Much Help Do Renters Get?

The Emergency Rental Assistance (IERA) program can provide up to 12 months in rental assistance to help cover past due and ongoing monthly rent and utility payments for qualifying renters. Qualifying applicants may also receive utility and/or home energy assistance. This includes help with paying past due utilities (electric, gas, water, sewer, and trash) and home energy (fuel oil, wood, coal, pellets, and propane) expenses along with internet assistance for past due expenses.

Who Is Eligible?

The eligibility requirements follow the federal Emergency Rental Assistance requirements. To be eligible you must be able to demonstrate financial hardship due to the pandemic, and be at some level of risk of homelessness.

Additionally, you must be at or below 80% of the median income for an area, based on your 2020 or current income level.

How Do You Apply?

You can complete an application online on the Indiana Housing Now Organization website. If you are unable to complete the application online, you can call 2-1-1 to get assistance with applying over the phone. 

Important Note: Individuals living in Elkhart County, Hamilton County, Lake County, Marion County (Indianapolis), the City of Fort Wayne, and St. Joseph County are not eligible to apply for the IERA program. Households living in these areas must apply for rental assistance with their local municipality

If you are a renter, more information can be found HERE. If you are a landlord, more information can be found HERE. For a list of their frequency asked questions, you can read them HERE

Iowa

What’s the program?

Iowa will release their COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program to help renters and landlords cover the costs of rent.

The Iowa Rent and Utility Relief Program is funded through the Emergency Rental Assistance program included in the recent federal stimulus package and will assist households and landlords with rent payments to avoid eviction. 

How Much Help Do Renters Get?

Eligible renters can receive up to 12 months of assistance.  This includes financial assistance for rent payments past due beginning March 13, 2020 and up to three months of future payment assistance at a time. 

Who Is Eligible?

The eligibility requirements follow the federal Emergency Rental Assistance requirements. To be eligible for Illinois’s Rental Assistance Program program, you must be able to demonstrate financial hardship due to the pandemic, and be at some level of risk of homelessness.

Additionally, you must be at or below 80% of the median income for an area, based on your 2020 or current income level. This program does not factor in your pre-2020 income. If your household is below 50% or you have been unemployed for 90 days prior to applying, you will get priority.

To check your eligibility status, please click HERE

How Do You Apply?

Applications will become available beginning Monday, March 29, 2021 at 3:00 PM.  You will need to provide the following:

  • Step 1: Review required documents and FAQs. You will need digital copies of your proof of identification and income eligibility documentation, signed lease and/or utility bill. 
  • Step 2: Submit an application 
  • Step 3: Notify your landlord, they will also need to complete a portion of the application in order for your application to get reviewed.

Learn more about the application process, FAQs, and documents HERE

Please note, that Polk County and the city of Des Moines are administering the program locally, through IMPACT


Michigan

What’s the program?

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) will release their COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) Program to help renters and landlords cover the costs of rent.

The Michigan Rent and Utility Relief Program is funded through the Emergency Rental Assistance program included in the recent federal stimulus package and will assist households and landlords with rent payments to avoid eviction. 

How Much Help Do Renters Get?

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) estimates that 50,000 to 55,000 families will be able to receive financial assistance through CERA, with an anticipated average rental assistance payout that could be as much as $10,000. 

Who Is Eligible?

The eligibility requirements follow the federal Emergency Rental Assistance requirements. To be eligible for Michigan’s Rental Assistance Program, you must be able to demonstrate financial hardship due to the pandemic, and be at some level of risk of homelessness.

Additionally, you must be at or below 80% of the median income for an area, based on your 2020 or current income level. This program does not factor in your pre-2020 income. If your household is below 50% or you have been unemployed for 90 days prior to applying, you will get priority.

To check your eligibility status, please click HERE

How Do You Apply?

Applications are only accepted for open waiting lists. The application will be available online only; no paper applications will be available or accepted. If assistance with completing the application is required due to a disability, you can call 517-241-8986. 

To join the wait list, click here to APPLY

If you have already applied to a MSHDA waiting list and need to check your status, you can view your applicant portal.


Nebraska

What’s the program?

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) will release their COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) Program to help renters and landlords cover the costs of rent.

The state of Nebraska released The Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program which makes available $158 million to assist Nebraska low-income households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

How Much Help Do Renters Get?

Funds may be used to pay for rent and utility expenses up to $20,000 during the life of the program. You may apply for up to 12 months of back rent (no earlier than April 1, 2020) and up to three months of future rent from the date of application submission. Once your initial application is approved, you may apply for additional rent or utility in the future, but cannot receive more than a total of 15 months of assistance. Late fees specified in your lease are eligible expenses but will be limited to no more than 10% of approved rent paid, so long as the total assistance per household does not exceed the maximum assistance available.

Who Is Eligible?

You are eligible if you answer YES to ALL of the following:

  • You are a Nebraska resident
  • You are not a resident of Douglas and Lancaster Counties
  • You are a renter with a current residential lease or rental agreement
  • Your household currently meets the income guidelines. See Appendix A – Area Median Income (AMI) by County – 80% Income Eligibility Limit
  • You are a U.S. citizen or legal resident alien
  • Your landlord is not an immediate family member

In addition, you are eligible if you answer YES to ONE of the following:

  • You are unable to pay all or part of your monthly rent due to a COVID-19 financial hardship (e.g., qualify for unemployment, have experienced a reduction in household income, or incurred significant costs)
  • You can show a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability (e.g. past due notice, proof of non-payment of rent, or eviction notice)

If you receive other federally funded rental assistance, the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program may only be used to pay for the portion of rent and utility costs that are not paid for by other rental assistance programs, in other words, the rent and utilities you pay out-of-pocket.

How Do You Apply?

Before you apply, please review the eligibility requirements and application user guide to understand if you are eligible, the required steps you must complete to apply, and the supporting documentation you must provide as part of your application. 

At this time, the review process may take between 4-6 weeks from the time an application is submitted to reach a funding decision. Applications will be prioritized for review which may reduce this timeframe. We appreciate your patience during this time and ask that you check your application status online. You will receive an email notification as soon as a review decision has been made. 

Once you are ready to apply, you can sign up HERE.

For more information you can read their Program FAQs, Tenant Application User Guide, and the Landlord Application User Guide

Important Note: Nebraskans residing in Lancaster County, Douglas County, City of Lincoln, and City of Omaha, will not be eligible to apply for the Nebraska Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Please contact the following for more information on locally administered programs:

  • Lancaster County and City of Lincoln: http://www.lincoln.ne.gov/rent or call +1 (402) 413-2085
  • City of Omaha: http://macchconnect.org (Due to high call volume, please only use this phone number if you don’t have internet access – +1 (402) 957-1747)
  • Douglas County: Coming soon

North Carolina

What’s the program?

On Tuesday March 30, 2021 Governor Roy Cooper extended three pandemic-era measures. One of these measures was an extension and additional funds to the North Carolina Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) Program.

The North Carolina Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) Program is funded through the Emergency Rental Assistance program included in the recent federal stimulus package and will assist households and landlords with rent payments to avoid eviction and pay bills. 

How Much Help Do Renters Get?

The North Carolina Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) Program has paid our more than $140 million to help renters in the state. The Federal Emergency Rental Assistance program is sending an additional $700 million to help renters and landlords keep people in their homes.

Who Is Eligible?

The eligibility requirements follow the federal Emergency Rental Assistance requirements. To be eligible for North Carolina Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) Program, you must be able to demonstrate financial hardship due to the pandemic, and be at some level of risk of homelessness.

Additionally, you must be at or below 80% of the median income for an area, based on your 2020 or current income level. This program does not factor in your pre-2020 income. If your household is below 50% or you have been unemployed for 90 days prior to applying, you will get priority.

How Do You Apply?

The HOPE Program is not accepting applications at this time, but rent and utility payments for current eligible applicants continue to be processed. The governor said he is working with the General Assembly to up the rental assistance program soon, due to its new funding. Continue to check the HOPE Program site for updates. Additionally, you can dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162 to connect with a HOPE Program Specialist.

Pennsylvania

What Is The Program?

The City of Philadelphia will release their COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program to help renters and landlords cover the costs of rent. This is similar to program offered last year, only much larger. It offers assistance for a longer period of time, without any caps with more ways to qualify.

How Much Help Do Renters Get?

Eligible renters can receive up to 12 months of assistance and can use funds for past due rent dating to March 2020 and for future rent.

The eligibility requirements follow the federal Emergency Rental Assistance requirements. To be eligible for Pennsylvania’s Rental Assistance Program program, you must be able to demonstrate financial hardship due to the pandemic, and be at some level of risk of homelessness.

Who Is Eligible?

Additionally, you must be at or below 80% of the median income for an area, based on your 2020 or current income level. This program does not factor in your pre-2020 income. If your household is below 50% or you have been unemployed for 90 days prior to applying, you will get priority.

How Do You Apply?

A website is available to apply. Here are some of the suburban counties:


Texas

What Is The Program?

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) is managing a Texas Rent Relief Program for eligible renters, which went live on February 15, 2021. The TDHCA received approximately $1.3 billion in Emergency Rental Assistance funds from the Coronavirus Relief Bill Rental Assistance program. They will be using the funds to help Texas renters pay rent and utility bills.

How Much Help Do Renters Get?

Eligible tenants will receive up to 12 months of payment relief. You may also get up to 3 months of expected rent, utility, and home energy expenses. No rent cap is specified.

Who Is Eligible?

The eligibility requirements follow the federal Emergency Rental Assistance requirements. To be eligible for Illinois’s Rental Assistance Program program, you must be able to demonstrate financial hardship due to the pandemic, and be at some level of risk of homelessness.

Additionally, you must be at or below 80% of the median income for an area, based on your 2020 or current income level. This program does not factor in your pre-2020 income. If your household is below 50% or you have been unemployed for 90 days prior to applying, you will get priority.

People who already receive a monthly federal subsidy do not qualify.

How Do You Apply?

Both landlords and tenants can apply on the state’s website here, or by calling 833-989-7368.

Note – there are a few cities handling the program on their own, like Austin. The state website will redirect residents of these cities to the local resources when they try to apply.


Utah

What Is The Program?

The Utah Department of Workforce Services will be managing $215 million in federal funds to help renters and landlords cover the costs of rent. This is similar to program offered last year, only much larger. Last year’s program was $25 million.

How Much Help Do Renters Get?

Renters can get up to 3 months of their lease paid for, as well as 3 to 6 months of past due rent covered, along with the costs of security deposits and utilities.

Who Is Eligible?

The eligibility requirements follow the federal Emergency Rental Assistance requirements. To be eligible for Illinois’s Rental Assistance Program program, you must be able to demonstrate financial hardship due to the pandemic, and be at some level of risk of homelessness.

Additionally, you must be at or below 80% of the median income for an area, based on your 2020 or current income level. This program does not factor in your pre-2020 income. If your household is below 50% or you have been unemployed for 90 days prior to applying, you will get priority.

The applicant must also reside in the household and be on the lease.

How Do You Apply?

A website is available to apply. Renters will need to provide the following:

  • Full lease agreement (all pages)
  • A copy of your landlord’s W-9 or landlord contact information
  • A ledger from your landlord showing outstanding rent and/or other fees
  • Income Certification
    • 2020 1040 tax form (or W-2, 1099, K-1, etc.)
    • Recent paystubs (30 days)
  • Unemployment insurance weekly payment history (if applicable)
  • Past-due utility bill (if applicable)
  • Eviction notice (if applicable)

If renters are unable to fill out the online form, landlords can complete it for them.



Virginia

What’s the program?

Virginia is receiving $524 million in new federal funding for their COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program to help renters and landlords cover the costs of rent. This is similar to program offered last year, only much larger. It offers assistance for a longer period of time, without any caps with more ways to qualify.

The Virginia Rent Relief Program (RRP) is funded through the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program included in the recent federal stimulus package and will assist households and landlords with rent payments to avoid eviction. 

How Much Help Do Renters Get?

Eligible renters can receive up to 10 months of assistance.  This includes financial assistance for rent payments past due beginning April 1, 2020 and onward with opportunity for renewal based on availability of funding and the household’s need for additional assistance and continued eligibility. 

Who Is Eligible?

The eligibility requirements follow the federal Emergency Rental Assistance requirements. To be eligible for Illinois’s Rental Assistance Program program, you must be able to demonstrate financial hardship due to the pandemic, and be at some level of risk of homelessness.

Additionally, you must be at or below 80% of the median income for an area, based on your 2020 or current income level. This program does not factor in your pre-2020 income. If your household is below 50% or you have been unemployed for 90 days prior to applying, you will get priority.

To check your eligibility status, please click HERE

How Do You Apply?

If you are a tenant in Virginia, you can apply HERE, and check out the frequency asked questions. If you are a landlord in Virginia, you can apply HERE, and check out the frequency asked questions. To submit a landlord-initiated application, visit virginiahousing.com/rentrelief. Virginia law requires landlords to work with their tenant to apply for this assistance.

Chesterfield County and Fairfax County will operate their own ERA-funded rent relief programs for their residents. Virginia tenants outside Chesterfield and Fairfax Counties struggling to pay rent are encouraged to reach out to their landlords for the quickest path to rental assistance. 

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