News Flash

Marketing & Communications

Posted on: September 29, 2021

City and County Receive Additional Money for Pandemic Rental Assistance

ERAP

The city will receive up to $5.9 million and the county up to $3.2 million from the federal government to continue a rental-assistance program for low-income city residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the new round of funding, benefits will be increased and one standard for eligibility will be relaxed to expand the pool of residents who can tap into the program. 

As before, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program assists with rent and utilities, to include electricity, water/sewer, natural gas, propane, garbage (county residents), fuel oil and internet. The program is open to renters with a household income of 80 percent or less of area median income, which varies by household size and is $55,100 for a family of four.

However, starting Oct. 1 the program will be open to any eligible resident who has suffered financial hardship, for whatever reason, during the pandemic. Previously, eligible residents had to show that the pandemic was the cause of their financial hardship. 

Also as of Oct. 1, the program will provide up to 18 months of rent and utilities assistance – an increase of three months, said Shereka Floyd, the ERAP program manager for the city. 

There will be no change in the application process. Residents can apply online at Forsyth.cc/ERAP or use a link on that page to make an appointment at the ERAP Application Lab at the Department of Social Services, 741 Highland Ave. 

“There may be some residents who did not qualify before because they could not show that the pandemic was the cause of their financial hardship,” Floyd said. “With the new guidelines, if they still meet the other qualifications, they should reapply.” 

Residents who have already received ERAP assistance can apply for the additional three months of assistance if they still qualify.

Applicants with a household income of 50 percent or less of area median income, or who are pending eviction, will receive priority in having their applications processed. 

Congress appropriated the first round of ERAP money in December 2020. The second round, with the changes in benefits and eligibility criteria, is part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 that Congress approved in March.

Appointments are available at the ERAP Application Lab from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Evening appointments are available Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Applicants should bring: 

  • Proof of income (paystubs, award letters or a self-written statement)
  • A copy of their lease
  • Identification
  • A ledger or letter from their landlord stating what they owe and utilities bills showing what they owe, including any past-due amounts.
  • A self-written statement of financial hardship during the pandemic.

The Forsyth County Department of Social Services is making its transportation aides available to bring residents to the application lab.          The transportation staff has limited capacity. Residents should confirm their rides before making an appointment at the application lab. The phone number for requesting transportation is posted under the appointment link at Forsyth.cc/ERAP.

Complete information about ERAP, including eligibility guidelines, a chart of income limits for households of 1 through 8 people, and links to apply online or schedule an appointment at the application lab, is posted at CityofWS.org/ERAP and at Forsyth.cc/ERAP.

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