Applications are not yet available for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)
Thank you for your interest in the ERAP. We are currently working on plans for this new program to assist with rent and utility payments. We are waiting for more information from the U.S. Treasury.
For information on other assistance that may be available in your area, please continue to contact Wyoming 211 by dialing 2-1-1.
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On February 8, 2021, Governor Gordon signed Executive Order 2021-02. The Order directs the Wyoming Department of Family Services (DFS) to begin planning to implement the ERAP.
In accordance with that Executive Order, DFS and other state agencies and community partners are actively planning for this new program.
We know that many people are struggling right now. Be assured we are working quickly to design a program that will help those in need, while also complying with federal and state requirements.
If you have suggestions on how the program should operate, please email them to RentalAssistance@wyo.gov
What is the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)?
The U.S. Treasury has provided the State with funds to help cover rent and utility costs for those individuals and families that are struggling financially due to the COVID – 19 pandemic.
The program may help with:
- Rent; and
- Maintaining safe housing and avoiding evictions; and
- Utility bills.
Who is eligible for ERAP?
Eligibility for the ERAP is based on income, impacts of COVID-19, and risk of homelessness or housing instability. We are currently awaiting additional guidance from the U.S. Treasury.
Please see the FAQs below for more information.
- Rental and utility payment
- Program pays arrears first
- Can pay up to 3 months in advance (must recertify every 3 months)
- Case management and other housing supports “as defined by the Secretary of US Treasury” (The Secretary has not yet defined these expenses.)
**The U.S. Treasury is updating its guidance to states. This FAQ will be updated as information changes.**
When can I apply?
Applications are not available yet. We are waiting for more federal guidance.
Who will be eligible?
You may be eligible if your household:
- Rents your home;
- Meets income requirements;
- Can show a financial loss due to COVID (either directly or indirectly), such as:
- Lost or reduced income;
- Additional costs due to COVID; and/or,
- Other financial hardship; and,
- Can show that you are experiencing housing instability, such as:
- An eviction notice;
- Notice of past due rent or utilities; or,
- Other risks of housing instability or homelessness.
How do I apply?
Applications are not available yet. Only renters can apply. Landlords can help renters apply, with the renter’s permission.
What type of assistance could I get?
Payment of residential rent and utility/home energy costs. Payment can include both past-due bills and ongoing bills. Payment can cover up to fifteen (15) months total. Bills must be for services between March 13, 2020, and March 31, 2022.
This program does not cover mortgages or commercial leases. It does not cover utility costs for persons with a mortgage or commercial lease.
What type of utilities or home energy cost may be covered by the program?
Water, sewer, trash, electric, gas, and fuel oil/propane.
Telephone, cable, and internet are not included.
How many months can I apply for at once?
The maximum is fifteen (15) months total. You can apply for up to fifteen (15) months of past due rent assistance.
If you need assistance with current and future rent payments, the maximum payment is three months at a time. You could then reapply for additional assistance, up to the fifteen (15) month total.
How will I know if I meet income requirements?
Your household income must be equal to or less than 80% of area median income (AMI). AMI depends on your household size (how many people live with you) and the county you live in.
In the chart below, find your county on the left and the number of people living with you (including yourself) at the top. Compare that number to the total income for your household (include income from anyone who lives with you).
Can I qualify for assistance for rent or utilities, if I have been able to cover one but not the other?
Yes. If you are otherwise eligible and have past-due rent, but not past-due utility bills, this program may cover your rental costs alone. The reverse would be true, as well.
If I receive other types of rental assistance, would I qualify for assistance under this program?
Yes, if you still have unpaid rent or utilities and meet the eligibility requirements. For example:
- You may be eligible for the unpaid tenant portion of various Federal programs (Section 8, VASH, Rural Development, etc.) that only pay part of your rent.
- You may qualify for assistance for the portion of rental costs not covered by any other program.
This program cannot duplicate other payments. You must report any rental or utility payments received through other programs, such as the Wyoming Emergency Housing Assistance Program (WEHAP).
If I have paid my rent or utilities, but am still struggling financially, can I get reimbursed?
This program can not reimburse for the rent or utility bills you already paid. However, you can apply to have your rent and utility bills covered in three-month increments going forward.
What if I have moved since March 13, 2020 and still owe rent or utilities on my previous rental?
You would still be eligible. There is no requirement for renters to still be living in the same place to receive assistance.
How will payments be made?
Payments will be made directly to your landlord and/or utility company. You will receive documentation of all payments made to your landlord and/or utility company on your behalf.
What if my landlord or utility refuses to accept payment?
Payments may be made directly to you if your landlord or utility refuses to accept payment from the program.
What documentation will be required?
Current federal guidance requires the following types of documentation to prove eligibility. Importantly, some of these documentation requirements may change if the US Dept. of Treasury updates its guidance. However, it may be a good idea for you to begin collecting these documents now, so that the application process is easier once it begins.
- A copy of your lease
- Utility bills and most recent account statement
- Income documents, such as:
- Documentation of unemployment benefits
- 2020 tax filing
- Most recent pay stubs, covering a two-month period
- Past due notices
- Eviction notices
- Proof of significant costs or financial hardship related to COVID-19 (medical bills, child care, etc.)
Will there be an application fee or co-pay?
Is there a maximum dollar amount of rent or utility costs that can be covered by this program each month?
If I did not qualify for the Wyoming Emergency Housing Assistance Program (WEHAP) through the Wyoming Community Development Authority (WCDA), does that mean I will not qualify for this program either?
Not necessarily. This is a different program with different eligibility requirements. If you’re not sure if you qualify, please call when applications become available.
Can this program help me pay late fees, security deposits, and other expenses related to obtaining or keeping safe housing?
Maybe. We are waiting for more information from the U.S. Treasury.
I have a mortgage but need assistance with utilities, can you cover that?
No, under federal law, this program is only available to renters.
What if I have a pending eviction or civil case against me for unpaid rent?
You may be eligible for assistance. We are waiting for more information from the U.S. Treasury. You may also be eligible for legal assistance through Legal Aid of Wyoming.
Will I be able to apply on behalf of my tenant?
Yes, but only with the tenant’s permission, in writing.
What if my tenant receives assistance under this program, but does not use it to pay rent?
Federal law requires that payments be made directly to landlords and utility companies on behalf of the tenant. Payments will only be made directly to a tenant if the landlord or utility company refuses to accept payment on behalf of the tenant. Both the tenant and the landlord will receive documentation of the payment.
Will this program pay late fees for past due rent? What about security deposits for prospective tenants?
Maybe. The U.S. Treasury is updating its guidance on eligible expenses. We will update this FAQ when we get the new guidance.
What if I have other issues with my tenant?
The CDC eviction moratorium is in place through March 31, 2021 for renters impacted by COVID related job loss. Per the federal law, “nothing in this section shall be construed to invalidate any otherwise legitimate grounds for eviction.”
If you are having issues with a tenant, you may be eligible for assistance through Legal Aid of Wyoming.