Wyoming Emergency Rental Assistance Program is Here to Help

Wyoming Emergency Rental Assistance Program is Here to Help

Written by on August 3, 2021

Millions of dollars are available to help Wyoming families financially affected by the pandemic cover their rent utilities payments as far back as March 2020.

Do you rent your home in Wyoming and have been unable to make rent, internet, and utility payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Then, you may be eligible for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).

Wyoming received $200 million in federal funding for the program, a U.S. Treasury initiative passed through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and expanded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Under the new federal guidelines, $180 million is available for direct financial assistance for rent, utility, internet payments, and housing stability services. An additional $20 million is available for application assistance and administrative costs.

Courtesy Wyoming Department of Family Services

E.R.A.P. directly pays landlords and utility companies for unpaid bills on behalf of eligible renters in Wyoming. The payments will be made by the State of Wyoming.

“The flexibility of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program gives us the opportunity to help more people keep a roof over their head and focus on getting back up on their feet,” Department of Family Services Director Korin Schmidt said. “The new program has been expanded to include the internet and utilities and pays current and future unpaid bills for eligible Wyoming renters.”

There are four criteria to be eligible for E.R.A.P. from the State of Wyoming:

  1. One or more individuals within the household are obligated to pay rent on a home in Wyoming or have unpaid rent on a previous residence in Wyoming. If living on the Wind River Reservation, renters may be eligible for assistance through the Eastern Shoshone E.R.A.P. or Northern Arapaho E.R.A.P.
  2. Total household income is equal to or less than eighty percent (80%) of the area median income.
  3. One or more individuals within the household have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced financial loss due directly or indirectly to COVID-19.
  4. One or more individuals within the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing stability

.Eligible households can obtain assistance for unpaid current and future rent, internet, and utility payments.

Eligible utility costs include electricity, energy costs (fuel, oil, propane), water and sewer, and internet service (up to $50 per month). On a case-by-case basis, other eligible expenses may include reasonable relocation expenses, security deposits, and reasonable late fees.

Unpaid bills must be for services on or after March 13, 2020, and can be on a former residence in Wyoming. There is no monetary limit, and eligible applications can receive assistance for up to 15 months.

Renters must submit the applications for assistance online, while landlords can apply with the written permission of the renter. There is no copay or application fee for renters or landlords.

If needing assistance with an application, community-based organizations are being set up in counties to provide help. (Click here for an updated list) For E.R.A.P. support, call center hours are 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The toll-free phone number is 1-877-WYO-E.R.A.P.

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