Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program

Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program

Thank you for reaching out about rental assistance programs. The agency is currently receiving a high volume of applications and is working under new program guidelines. We will return calls and process applications as fast as possible.

The CDC has extended the eviction Moratorium until March 31, 2021. If you are worried about immediate eviction, we encourage you to complete the CDC DECLARATION FORM and provide a copy to your landlord.

If you have received any eviction or court documents prior to reaching out to our agency or while waiting to hear back from our agency, reach out immediately to People’s Legal Aid (PLA). PLA is a new non-profit legal aid organization in Utah focused on providing free legal assistance to people dealing with eviction and debt collection. They serve the entire state of Utah. To contact PLA, click HERE

Program Guidelines

The Housing Assistance Program has been funded by congressional action in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic. These funds were distributed to the Utah Housing and Community Development Division.
This program is designed to assist low income Utahans, who have, directly or indirectly, experienced financial hardship due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, in obtaining or retaining rental housing. The Housing Assistance Program (HAP) is set up to allow tenants to apply for assistance through nine regional HAP agencies. For additional information go to https://rentrelief.utah.gov/

General Program Rules

  1. Applicants may receive 3 months of prospective rent at the time of approval. 
    1. Rent is considered prospective when paid before due date. 
  2. Applicants can receive assistance in arrears going back to March 13th 2020. 
    1. Arrears must be resolved if future rent is to be approved. 
  3. Applicants cannot be assisted for more than 12 months. Assistance approved with CARES funding during 2020 will not count towards this 12-month period. If an applicant is requesting assistance with arrears, the first month counting towards the 12 months will be the first month approved during 2021 but may include months assisted in arrears during 2020. 
    1. An additional 3 months of assistance beyond the 12-month limit may be approved on a case-by-case basis with permission from HCD staff. 
  4. Rent payments must go directly to landlords. Utility assistance must go directly to the utility companies. 
  5. No rental and utility assistance will be approved or paid after June 30, 2021.  

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible Households must meet the following criteria:

  1. Household income at or below 80% AMI; 
  2. Qualified for unemployment, OR has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to COVID-19; AND
  3. Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; 
    1. Past due utility or rent notice or eviction notice. 
    2. Unsafe or unhealthy living conditions 
    3. Any other evidence of such risk, as determined by the grantee involved 
  4. At least one individual in the applicant household must be obligated by a lease agreement/contract to pay rent for the unit for each month for which the applicant is applying for assistance. 
    1. If an applicant is in a month-to-month lease then they will only be eligible for the current month’s rent in addition to arrears. Applicant will have to reapply each month to receive future assistance. 
    2. If an applicant’s lease is due to end during the three month period, the applicant may renew their lease and receive the three months of assistance.

Eligible Uses of Funds

Expenses incurred from March 13, 2020 – June 30, 2021 

  1. Rent, including eligible fees 
  2. Rent arrears 
  3. Utilities (Water, Sewer, Electrical, Gas) 
  4. Utility arrears 
    1. Utility assistance will only be provided for utilities already billed to the household. Prospective utilities are only eligible when the utility payment does not vary month-tomonth. 
  5. Security deposits

Documentation

  1. Lease Agreement 
  2. HAP application (Appendix I) 
  3. Income Certification Form (Appendix II) 
    1. Other income documentation as required 
  4. Signed HAP Assistance Contract (Appendix III) 
  5. Utility bill(s) (If utilities are being paid for) 

Income Determination

Income documentation will be required for applicants to be approved for assistance. Applicants may apply based on either monthly income or annual income. If applicants are approved based on monthly income, they will need to recertify their financial need with each subsequent application for assistance. 

Monthly income documentation

  1. Documentation to demonstrate monthly income may include the following: 
    1. Two months of pay statements for all adult wage earners, in the household
    2. Two months of statements regarding unemployment compensation
    3. Two months of statements for all other sources on income
  2. If an applicant has no income and does not wish to certify using annual documentation, they may submit a statement indicating that they are unable to produce documentation demonstrating income. 

Annual income documentation 

  1. Annual income will be gathered using the guidelines in CFR 24 5.609

Regardless of method of demonstrating income, the Appendix II Income Certification will also be required with each certification. If an applicant is unable to provide any of the above methods of documenting income, they may still be allowed to receive benefits under certain circumstances.

Applicant Priority

Agencies will give priority to applicants in particular need of assistance. Priority applicants will be eligible for expedited application review. Applicants to be expedited include:

  1. Applicants in which a member or members of the household has been unemployed due to job loss directly or indirectly caused by Covid-19, for the 90-day period preceding the time of application.
  2. Applicants below 50% AMI

Data Gathering

Each applicant must provide the following information with their application:

  1. Address of the rental unit 
  2. The landlord’s W-9 is required. This document contains name, address, social security number, tax identification number or DUNS number, as applicable, for the landlord. 
  3. Amount and percentage of monthly rent covered by HAP assistance
  4. Amount and percentage of separately-stated utility and home energy costs covered by HAP assistance
  5. Total amount of each type of assistance (i.e., rent, rental arrears, utilities and home energy costs, utilities and home energy costs arrears) provided to each household
  6. Amount of outstanding rental arrears for each household
  7. Number of months of rental payments and number of months of utility or home energy cost payments for which assistance is provided
  8. Household income and number of individuals in the household, and
  9. Gender, race, and ethnicity for the primary applicant for assistance.

Monthly Reporting

  1. Number of eligible households that receive assistance
  2. Acceptance rate
  3. Type or types of assistance provided to each household
  4. The average amount of funding provided per eligible household
  5. Household income levels a. < 30% AMI b. 30% – 50% AMI c. 50% – 80% AMI
  6.  Average number of monthly rental or utility payments that were covered by the funding amount that the household received
  7. Gender, race, and ethnicity of primary applicant
  8. Total amount of funds expended

Monitoring

All agencies will be monitored to ensure compliance and accuracy in undertaking the HAP 2.0 program.

Customer Service

Upon reviewing applications, all agencies must notify applicants if there is missing information or documentation, which may result in the application being denied. Applicants are expected to have all missing information submitted within one week or the application will be denied and the applicants will have to resubmit a new application.

HAP 2.0 Information Sheet

Eligible Costs

Do
HAP 2.0 can assist with lot fees.
HAP 2.0 can assist with late fees.
HAP 2.0 can assist with utility deposits
HAP 2.0 can assist with propane or other alternative energy being used to heat a house.
HAP 2.0 can assist with Section 8 security deposits.
Don’t
HAP 2.0 cannot assist with legal fees.
HAP 2.0 cannot assist with Section 8 recipients rent or utilities.
HAP 2.0 cannot assist with RV rent/ lot fees.
HAP 2.0 cannot assist with fees assessed due to the tenant receiving HAP assistance.

Eligible recipients

Do
HAP 2.0 can assist undocumented persons/households
HAP 2.0 can assist renters who are renting from family members. In this situation, workers must collect documentation proving 2 months of rent payments between landlord and tenant being made prior to the period in which assistance is being requested.
HAP 2.0 recipients can move into a new rental unit and continue to get assistance including for security deposits.
HAP 2.0 can assist previously homeless persons who have a signed lease agreement.
HAP 2.0 can assist persons who are reliant on child support and where the individual paying child support has been impacted by Covid-19.
HAP 2.0 can assist a person who has been approved for section 8 but who has outstanding rent due prior to the start date for section 8 assistance.
HAP 2.0 can assist person who voluntarily left their job for health concerns.
HAP 2.0 can assist person who were previously unemployed but are now looking for work and unable to find work due to Covid-19 Pandemic and accompanying economic downturn.
HAP 2.0 can pay rent to landlords located out of state as long as the unit address is in Utah.
HAP 2.0 can assist a renter whose landlord is unwilling to provide an extended lease agreement but approves rent on a month to month basis. In this situation only one month of assistance may be provided at a time.
HAP 2.0 can provide assistance where there is a conflict of interest. However, HAP agency must document the conflict of interest and get permission for HCD staff.
HAP 2.0 can assist college students
Don’t
HAP 2.0 cannot assist homeowners.
HAP 2.0 cannot assister persons who are in a rent-to-own contract.
HAP 2.0 cannot assist a renter who has lost income but is currently above 80% AMI.
HAP 2.0 cannot assist a renter whose landlord is unwilling to sign off on HAP assistance.
HAP 2.0 cannot provide assistance outside of Utah. This includes individuals living in Utah who need rent arrears paid to an out of state address.
Rules for persons in any form of government subsidized housing will follow the rules as outlined for Section 8 residents.