A new local Emergency Rental Assistance Program will help households unable to pay rental and utility arrears accrued due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stanislaus County, the City of Modesto, and the Stanislaus Regional Housing Authority have partnered to implement a local Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) supported by funds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the State of California. The ERAP will assist households unable to pay rental and utility arrears accrued due to the COVID-19 pandemic between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.
On December 21, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and $25 billion was allocated to the U.S. Treasury for an ERAP to assist households that are unable to pay rent and utilities. Funds were provided directly to States, U.S. Territories, local governments, and Indian tribes. The U.S. Treasury issued approximately $1.1 billion to California jurisdictions with a population of 200,000 or more and an additional $1.5 billion to the State of California.
Stanislaus County and the City of Modesto received a combined amount of approximately $16.4 million from the federal government for distribution to those who are eligible and can demonstrate a need and anticipate receiving a combined total of approximately $19.5 million from the State of California. In total, approximately $35.9 million will be made available to Eligible Households communitywide. The ERAP funding is restricted to Stanislaus County residents.
ERAP defines an Eligible Household is defined as a renter household in which at least one or more individuals meets the following criteria:
- Has a household income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI), which is the unadjusted median income levels derived from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on an annual basis for each jurisdiction adjusted solely for household size:
- Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19
- Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability
*FY2020 Income Limit Categores
During the first 60 days, funding will be focused on Eligible Households at or below 50% of Area Median Income (*AMI), or those households who have been unemployed the 90 days prior to application. After the first 60 days, resources will be focused on Eligible Households at or below 80% of AMI. Phase 1 of the ERAP will provide payment of 100% of rental and utility arrears owed by an Eligible Household. Once the $16.4 million in funds received directly from the federal government has been exhausted, Phase 2, the 19.5 million in State Funding, will be implemented and provide payment of 80% of rental and utility arrears owed by an Eligible Household.
The ERAP will be facilitated locally through a collaborative effort among Stanislaus County, the City of Modesto, the Stanislaus Regional Housing Authority, United Way of Stanislaus County and four local credit unions: Self-Help Credit Union, Modesto First Federal Credit Union, Organized Labor Credit Union and Rolling F Credit Union. United Way's 2-1-1 call center will assist the public in answering questions about the program and how to apply. Credit Unions and mobile outreach teams will serve as community intake locations and offer additional assistance to households and will assist with entry of information into the online portal, if needed.
For program information or to apply, please visit: www.stanrentassist.com or call 1-877-211-7826 or call 2-1-1 and ask about the Stanislaus County Emergency Rental Assistance Program.