County advises eligible renters, landlords to complete application2qa fully, accurately
Renters in Richland County who lost income because of COVID-19 need to know two things: financial help is available to help pay rent and utilities and the money doesn’t have to be repaid.
Make that three things: Apply now!
The County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) has approved more than $173,000 since launching April 5. County officials want more eligible renters to apply for the funding to help pay rent and utility bills. The U.S. Treasury awarded the County $12.5 million for the program.
“The program is ongoing at this time and the Richland County team is here to help you,” said Mike King, Assistant Director for Richland County Emergency Services Department.
ERAP can provide up to 12 months of rental and utility assistance, plus an additional three months if funding is available and the County determines the extra months are needed to ensure housing stability. Owners and landlords can also apply for assistance on behalf of renters.
When applying, residents should submit all of the required information and fill out the necessary forms accurately. Incomplete applications slow the approval process. The County will notify applicants if an application is incomplete; tenants have 21 days to respond, and landlords have 10 days to respond.
To apply for ERAP, residents can:
- Apply via the County’s website: richlandcountysc.gov
- Call the program’s toll-free number: 855-216-9198
- Submit an application in person.
The County’s Department of Government and Community Services offers in-person assistance on a limited basis and by appointment only. Residents are urged to review the ERAP information and must bring all required documentation to their appointment. Schedule an appointment by calling 803-576-1513. When leaving a message, please provide your name and phone number for a return call.
Richland Library is also offering assistance to residents who need help completing the application. Applicants can schedule an appointment with a member of the library’s Social Work team by calling 803-509-8371, texting 803-386-8506 or emailing [email protected].
Whether applying online, by phone or in person, all applicants should be prepared to provide the following information with documentation (Social Security information is requested, but not required or mandatory to apply):
- Name and contact information
- Address – household applicants must reside in a rental property within Richland County
- Status – renter of landlord?
- Copy of an applicable lease agreement or self-attestation in the absence of a lease agreement
- Household income – must be below 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI)
- Rental/utility payment status
- In arrears or prospective?
- Impact of COVID-19
- Is there economic hardship? How?
- Is there a risk of homelessness or housing instability? How?
ERAP funding must be used to reduce past-due rental and utility balances before future rent payments can be made. Once past-due balances are settled, the County will consider future rent payments for up to three months at a time.