Emergency Rental Assistance Still Available For Qualifying Monroe County Residents
The Monroe County Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is still available for qualifying applicants. However, it is expected to end soon because Monroe County funding is running out.
According to the department of human services, ERAP is intended to help renters deal with financial challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program offers rental and utility assistance for eligible households to help Pennsylvanians avoid eviction or loss of utility service. ERAP will continue to be available until the program’s funding runs out.
ERAP is targeted at but is not limited to the population in our communities that are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, & Employed (ALICE). The ALICE population consists of those working, but due to child care costs, transportation challenges, high cost of living, and other factors are living paycheck to paycheck. People that are experiencing a hard time and need a hand up.
ERAP is coordinated through the county and works with two subcontracted partners; Pocono Mountains United Way and Family Promise of Monroe County. Submitted ERAP applications are directed to a review specialist in the applicants’ county. If approved, ERAP can help with up to 18 months of back rent plus an additional month forward, depending on the level of assistance needed, but it is not guaranteed. ERAP approval is based on the applicants’ rental status if they are currently renting, income requirements based on Area Median Income (AMI), documents that prove their situation (Proof of rent payments, utility payments, etc.), and other factors.
Christian Smith, a Review Specialist at the Pocono Mountains United Way, encourages those who need assistance to apply. “ERAP is not a welfare program. It’s meant to catch you up and get you back on your feet so you can sustain yourself,” said Smith. “We are looking to help as many people as we can. If you are in need, apply now while it lasts.”
To apply for ERAP, go to http://www.monroecountypa.gov/Dept/Commissioners/Pages/EmergencyAssistanceRenta.aspx/?, select your county, and click the START AN APPLICATION button at the bottom.
For Monroe County residents, after applying, if you are facing eviction or a utility being shut off, you may be able to get your application immediate attention by calling the main line at (570) 243-6677 or emailing the County at ERAP@monroecountyPA.gov.
All other PA residents will have to contact their respective Counties directly, find that information at: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=QSiOQSgB1U2bbEf8Wpob3sO0pzn-ZYhAitAogSA2E4NUQ0hXM1ZTRU5ZMTZVSU9QVFdKSzRaTFpHQS4u
ERAP is a program intended for renters only. If you are a homeowner looking for assistance, visit https://pahaf.org/.