The District has rental assistance programs and housing resources to help residents prevent eviction. DHS is working closely with our District agency partners to establish and implement a coordinated, interagency plan to mitigate housing instability and eviction and to prevent a surge in homelessness due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Following is an overview of rental assistance programs, services, and resources available in the District including the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), and the Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP).
Emergency Rental Assistance Program
The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) helps District residents earning less than 40% of the Area Median Income (AMI) who are facing housing emergencies, by providing funding for overdue rent including late fees and court costs if a qualified household is facing eviction. The program also supports security deposits and the first month's rent for residents moving into new apartments. To view eligibility requirements and apply for ERAP, please click the following link: https://erap.dhs.dc.gov For additional questions or concerns about emergency rental assistance, please contact [email protected].
Notice for Landlords/Housing Providers
Per DC Official Code § 42-3501.01, for any eviction authorized in a case filed prior to March 11, 2020, that involves non-payment of rent, the housing provider shall contact the Department of Human Services to determine whether the tenant has a pending Emergency Rental Assistance Program (“ERAP”) and/or STAY DC application no earlier than 5 business days and no later than 48 hours prior to the scheduled date and time of the eviction.
Landlords should send an email to both [email protected] and [email protected] with the following subject line:
"Landlord inquiry – Pre-Eviction Application Status" Please include the tenant name and unit address in the body of the email.
Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP)
The Homeless Prevention Program (HPP) prevents families at risk of becoming homeless from entering the shelter system by providing services and resources that stabilize the family within the community. Diversion Services are also available to assist families who have been displaced from their homes by securing emergency housing outside of the shelter while receiving supportive services to help stabilize their housing or until permanent housing placement.
HPP providers assist families with developing a plan, identifying resources, and setting goals that will help them maintain stable housing with their pre-existing support networks, rather than coming into the shelter system. HPP service providers also offer mediation services and flexible financial assistance. All referrals for HPP are made through Virginia Williams Family Resource Center (VWFRC).
If you are a family with children under 18 and need emergency shelter, please call the Homeless Services Hotline at (202) 399-7093. The Homeless Services Hotline is available 24 hours a day.
In 2017, DHS launched a pilot rental subsidy program called DC Flex, which gives low-income, working families $7,200 to spend per year on rent for four years (or longer if the pilot is extended). Because a family’s ability to pay rent may change as their income and expenses fluctuate month-to-month, participants can choose how much of their DC Flex funds to spend on rent in a given month (up to their total rent amount) until the $7,200 is exhausted. DHS is evaluating the effectiveness of this intervention through a partnership with the Lab at DC.
Additional Housing Resources
To learn more about these programs, mortgage resources, and utility information, visit coronavirus.dc.gov/rent.