COVID-19 Emergency Rent and Utility Assistance

 

Emergency Rent and Utility COVID Program

 

Did COVID-19 affect your ability to pay your rent or utilities and are you in jeopardy of losing your housing as a result? The Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities is working You Way Home, in a new program, the Your Way Home Emergency Rent and Utility Coalition-CV Program (ERUC-CV), which may provide some assistance to you. Details of this new program are below:

 

Your Way Home Emergency Rent and Utility Coalition-CV Program (ERUC-CV) Description

Program overview

The Montgomery County ERUC-CV program is designed to provide housing stability to hundreds of low and moderate-income Montgomery County residents at risk of eviction and/or homelessness as a direct result of COVID-19. This program is an expansion of programs and services offered through Your Way Home, a public-private partnership that since 2014 has helped end and prevent homelessness for thousands of Montgomery County residents.

Program guidance

Your Way Home in Montgomery County is prioritizing an equitable approach in its provision of financial assistance and housing stabilization to households who have been directly impacted by COVID-19. By targeting assistance within particular census tracts, ERUC-CV aims to have the greatest impact on reducing housing instability and homelessness for the most high-risk households.

Eligible program activities

The following are eligible activities as part of the ERUC-CV program:

  1. Financial assistance. Each household can receive UP TO $1,500 per month in assistance for rental arrears and/or utility arrears dating back to March 1, 2020, with a maximum of 6 months’ worth of arrears being awarded, not to exceed $9,000 per household. A household may receive assistance for rental arrears or utility arrears or a combination of both, not to exceed $9,000 total.
  2. Housing stability case management. Nonprofit providers will assist with assembling ERUC-CV documentation; creating a housing stabilization plan, goal setting, and/or household budgeting; and providing referrals and connections to other resources and supportive services in the community, as needed.

Restrictions on Duplication of Benefits:

  • Rental or Utility assistance cannot be provided to a household receiving such assistance from another source that covers the same cost for the same time period. This would be considered a duplication of benefits and is not allowable. For example, if a household owes $1,000 in rental arrearages and receives $300 of assistance through another source for these arrearages, the ERUC-CV program would only be eligible to pay for the $700 difference that is not already covered. All households must complete a duplication of benefits calculation on the COVID-19 self-certification form.

Eligibility requirements for program participants

For a household to be eligible for the ERUC-CV program, it must meet the below requirements:

  1. Household must reside in Montgomery County at the time of application.
  2. Household must be at or below 100% of Area Median Income at the time of application.
    1. Income eligibility will be based on average gross income over the 30 days preceding the time of assistance.
        1. Income includes earned income, child support, welfare benefits, SSI, SSDI, unemployment income, workman’s comp, pension/investments/401K.
        2. Area Median Income is as follows:
            • 1 person: $67,700
            • 2 persons: $77,300
            • 3 persons: $87,000
            • 4 persons: $96,600
            • 5 persons: $104,400
            • 6 persons: $112,100
            • 7 persons: $119,800
            • 8 persons: $127,600

           

        3. Payments from ERUC-CV should not be included in eligible income calculations.

       

    2. Household must have rent arrears and/or an eviction notice and/or utility arrears and/or a utility shut-off notice at the time of application in order to receive assistance.
    3. Household must be able to self-report a COVID hardship and have no alternative means to pay the rent and/or utility arrears for which the household is applying.
    4. If rental arrear payments are being made on behalf of a household to a landlord, landlord must sign a letter prior to receiving the payment, agreeing to not file for eviction due to non-payment of rent for at least 60 days after the last month paid on renter’s behalf.

Documentation required for each household to be eligible for the program and to be provided to the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities:

  1. Photo identification: PA Driver’s license, Photo ID, Passport, etc.
  2. Copy of the current executed lease or rental agreement, including any addendum
  3. Written documentation from landlord showing amount of rental arrearages and/or utility bill showing amount of utility arrearages
  4. Proof of income for the last 30 days, which can include:
      1. Employment pay stubs for all adult household members for the last 30 days
      2. Welfare cash assistance and food stamp award letters
      3. SSI or SSDI award letter
      4. Unemployment award letter or check stubs, stating amount received for the last 30 days
      5. Workman’s compensation award letter, stating amount received
      6. Pension or retirement documentation

     

  5. Household self-certification form
  6. HMIS household authorization form
  7. A completed W9 form executed by the landlord

Welcome to the COVID-19 Emergency Rent and Utility Assistance Prescreening Questionnaire. This has been created to help individuals and families that have been affected by the pandemic. If you have additional questions please email
COVIDrentutilityassistance@pottstowncluster.org. Those without internet access can call 610-970-5995 ext. 115 and leave their name and phone number.

If your situation meets the requirements noted in the program description and you are able to work with PCRC staff to complete the necessary paperwork requirements, please complete this brief prescreening questionnaire and follow the link to complete the attached Household Self-Certification Form.

 

COVID-19 Emergency Rent and Utility Assistance Prescreening Questionnaire

 

 

 

Do you have an eviction or shut-off notice and/or owe rent or utility arrears dating back no later than 3/1/2020?

 

 

 

 

This program is only for renters. If you are seeking mortgage assistance or answered no to any of these questions, we are sorry that you are ineligible for this program and we are unable to provide any assistance. You do not need to complete any further information.  

If you answered yes to all three questions, please click the link below to complete the Household Self-Certification Form document in its entirety. Upon completion of the form, it will be sent to our office for review. One of our staff will contact you to follow up with your application.

Household Self-Certification Form

 

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