CHEYENNE – Are you struggling financially? More Wyoming households, including those homeless or without a current residence, may be eligible for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program with the recent opening up of additional federal dollars.
Wyoming has received federal funding to help eligible Wyoming households struggling to make rent and/or utility payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Community-based organizations located in every county are ready to help eligible households get the assistance they deserve. For additional ERAP support, the call center’s toll-free phone number is 1-877-WYO-ERAP. Visit dfs.wyo.gov/erap for more information and to apply.
Recent changes include expanding the maximum assistance allotment per household from 15 months to 18 months. Additionally, renters will be eligible for assistance if their financial hardship occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ERAP funding is also now open to Wyoming households that are homeless or without a current residence and do not have a lease/rental agreement. This may include those living at a homeless shelter, living with friends or family, couch surfing, living doubled-up, etc. Applicants will need to complete the online application, submitting all required documents with the exception of a lease agreement and go through eligibility determination. If deemed eligible, the applicant will receive a letter of intent to show prospective landlords what the applicant is eligible for: security deposit, first three months of rent and potential additional rental assistance up to a total of 18 months. Once a lease agreement is signed, the program will make payment.
As of Dec. 1, ERAP has approved a total of 4,736 applications, paying a total of $12.5M in assistance. Of the rental payments, $9.7 million went to landlords, $1.9 million to renters and $778,000 to utilities. In Laramie County, more than $1.8 million has been spent on 662 approved applications.
ERAP eligibility requirements include:
- Being a renter in Wyoming or having unpaid rent on a previous Wyoming residence
- Having a household income of less than 80% of the area’s median income
- Qualifying for unemployment benefits or being able to show direct or indirect financial loss because of COVID-19 or being able to show that financial loss occurred during the COVID pandemic
- Being at risk of losing housing