Emergency Rental Assistance FAQs

Emergency Rental Assistance FAQs

James Clegg, Esq., LL.M

  1. Where do I apply for Emergency Rental Assistance?

Check with your local or state governments for Emergency Rental Assistance:

  1. Is Emergency Rental Assistance only for rent, or will they help with utilities too?

A majority of local Emergency Rental Assistance Program funding is for rent only. Check with your local Emergency Rental Assistance Program to inquire about assistance that is available. Our Florida provides assistance for rent and past due utilities.

  1. Does Emergency Rental Assistant funding count as income for my taxes?

For Renters, funding provided under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program is not considered to be income for tax purposes.

For Landlords, funding provided under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program is considered to be income for tax purposes.

  1. Can landlords apply for Emergency Rental Assistance?

No. Landlords may coordinate with and assist their tenants to determine eligibility and to submit the application. The tenant must sign the application for assistance.

  1. Am I Eligible?

To be Eligible for Emergency Rental Assistance, you or somebody in your household must have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Your household income must also be at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI).

  1. I receive a monthly federal subsidy (Housing Choice Vouchers, Section 8 Vouchers, Public Housing, or Project-Based Rental Assistance), am I eligible for assistance?

Yes, households receiving a monthly federal subsidy are eligible for the tenant-owed portion of the rent that is not subsidized.

  1. How do I find the Area Median Income Limits for my area?

Check the HUD FY2021 Income Limits Documentation System at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/il/il2021/select_Geography.odn

  1. What documentation is required?

Check with your local Emergency Rental Assistance Program for documentation requirements. They may differ between counties and programs.

  1. Can I receive Emergency Rental Assistance from multiple programs?

If you have already received assistance from any program, you cannot receive funding for the period that was already covered. You can apply for assistance for periods or for bills that were not covered by your previously received assistance.

  1. How long does it take to receive assistance?

There is no set time to receive assistance. The waiting period for assistance is dependent on your local government’s process for approving and distributing assistance. Each program may also have priority for specific members of the community based on varying circumstances such as lower Area Income Limits

  1. Is my landlord required to accept the funding from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program?

No. Under Florida law, there is no requirement for your landlord to accept Emergency Rental Assistance funding.

  1. My landlord does not want to wait for Emergency Rental Assistance Funding, can they file an eviction?

Yes, your landlord can file an eviction. They are not required to wait for funding, even if you have been approved.

  1. What happens if my landlord will not participate in the Emergency Rental Assistance Program?

In Pinellas County, after all reasonable efforts have failed to obtain cooperation of the landlord, or the landlord does not wish to participate, Pinellas County may make payments directly to the household.

 

If you need help navigating these applications, GLS may be able to help! Call us to find out: (800) 230-5920.

 

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