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Frequently Asked Emergency Rental Assistance Questions

What is ERAP?

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) helps low-income, District residents who are facing housing emergencies. A housing emergency is when immediate action is needed to avoid homelessness, to re-establish a home, or to prevent eviction from a home.

How can ERAP help?

ERAP can help to pay the following:

  • Overdue rent, including late costs and court fees, if eviction is about to happen
  • Security deposit for a new residence
  • First month’s rent

ERAP cannot help to pay for utilities, mortgage payments, or any housing expense other than those listed above.

Who is eligible for ERAP?

You must be a resident of DC and your income must be below125% of the monthly federal poverty level according to household size.

Will ERAP pay all of the rent arrearages or security deposit?

When you apply for ERAP, we will look at your income and resources. If you are eligible we will tell you how much you should pay and how much ERAP will pay.

Are there limits on how much ERAP can pay?

ERAP can only pay up to certain limits. For overdue rent, ERAP can pay for up to 5 months of overdue rent or $4,250. In cases of children, this can be increased to up to $6,000. For security deposits and the first month’s rent, ERAP can pay up to a total of $900.

If paying the highest ERAP amount will not take care of the housing emergency, ERAP cannot make its payment until you show how the remainder of the needed money will be paid. Also, you can only receive help from ERAP once in a twelve month period.

Will ERAP give me the money directly?

ERAP will make its payment directly to the landlord, court, or court marshals. No money will be given to you directly.

How do I apply for ERAP?

You must complete an application, be interviewed and provide documents the organization needs to decide if you are eligible. If you do not have enough resources to pay for the residence after the immediate emergency is taken care of, you must also agree to take part in case management services.  This will help make sure another housing emergency does not happen.


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