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; maintaining safe housing and avoiding evictions; and utility bills.
When will applications open?
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. Applications are not yet available.
Who is eligible for ERAP?
Eligibility for the ERAP is based on income, impacts of COVID-19, and risk of homelessness or housing instability. Please see the FAQs below for more information.
What services are available?
- Rental and utility payments: Program pays arrears first. Can pay up to 3 months in advance (must recertify every 3 months).
- Case management and other housing supports: Other expenses must be related to housing and be incurred due directly or indirectly due to COVID-19. Such expenses may include: relocation expenses and rental fees and reasonable accrued late fees.
All payments for housing-related expenses must be supported by documentary evidence.
FAQS FOR RENTERS AND LANDLORDS
When can I apply?
Applications are not available yet. Program updates will be posted on the Department of Family Services website.
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.
If you reside on the Wind River Reservation (WRR) you are not eligible for this program. Please contact your tribal ERAP for assistance. If you are a tribal member living outside of the WRR, you may elect to apply to either the tribal or the state ERAP.
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 after March 13, 2020.
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, fuel oil/propane, and internet.
Telephone and cable 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?
Documentation of eligibility is required. Documents required may include:
- 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.)
If you do not have access, or have difficulty collecting, the above documentation, alternate forms of documentation or written attestation may also be accepted in limited cases
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?
Yes. This program can also assist with reasonable relocation expenses and rental fees and reasonable late fees.
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.
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?
Yes, this program can pay for reasonable late fees.
What if I have other issues with my tenant?
The CDC eviction moratorium (Updated March 29, 2021) is in place through June 30, 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.
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
- Tribal ERAP: For information about the Eastern Shoshone ERAP, please click here. For questions about the Eastern Shoshone ERAP only, please call 307-332-5832 or leave a message on ESHA Facebook Messenger at www.facebook.com/ESHA82514. For information about the Northern Arapaho ERAP, please click here.
- Landlords: Please see the ERAP-Landlord letter (dated March 12, 2021) for more information, and for information you can share with your tenants. The letter can be found here.
- Additional Assistance: For information on other assistance that may be available in your area, please continue to contact Wyoming 211 by dialing 2-1-1.
- See also U.S. Treasury guidance.
- The CDC eviction moratorium (Updated March 29, 2021) is in place through June 30, 2021 for renters impacted by COVID related job loss.