What is the source of program funding?
The state-administered program is funded through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which provided up to $25 billion and $21.55 billion respectively to states for emergency rental assistance. Through these two programs, the federal government provided $569 million to Louisiana, $440 million of which went to the state to administer across 57 parishes.
$129 million went directly to seven parishes to administer their own local programs: Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Lafayette, Orleans, and St. Tammany parishes.
To learn more about the U.S. Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Program, click here.
What is the purpose and current status of the ERAP program?
The program supported tenant and landlord applicants with access to assistance with past-due rent, forward rent in three-month increments and past-due utilities and penalty fees, which will be disbursed directly to the landlords or utility service on the renter’s behalf, in most cases.
The main objectives of the state ERAP program were as follows:
Keep people housed during the pandemic by preventing evictions for failure to pay rent
Serve maximum number of households as quickly as possible while prioritizing those in greatest need
Ensure equitable geographic distribution of assistance
Compensate landlords for unpaid rent during the pandemic
The program disbursed all funds in April 2023.
What can I do if I am facing eviction and my application has not yet been completed or processed?
If you need immediate assistance related to your application, you can email the program at [email protected]. Be sure to include your application ID number in the subject line to be contacted within 24 hours and include your full name and address in the email.
There are also free resources available to help prevent homelessness, including:
Call 211 to locate shelter and homelessness prevention resources nearby.
Visit www.LAHousingSearch.com or call 1-877-428-8844 to search for available affordable housing.
Visit Louisiana’s Housing Coordinated Entry Access Points www.laboscoc.org/housing-and-services or call 225-388-5800 for local homelessness prevention resources.
Visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s list of community partners www.hud.gov/states/louisiana/homeless.
Visit www.LouianaLawHelp.org for more information on the Louisiana eviction process.
Visit www.Ready.NOLA.gov for information on renter's rights and guidance related to evictions, especially following a disaster.
Who could apply for assistance from the Louisiana Emergency Rental Assistance Program?
Both renters and landlords within the 57 parishes where the Louisiana ERAP is administered could apply for consideration of an eligible renter. Both parties were requested to provide information during the application process.
What were the income requirements for renters?
The ERAP program limited eligibility to households with income that does not exceed 80 percent of area median income, as defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), for the parish where they reside. To view AMI data by parish, click here.
What are the Fair Market Rent values for my parish?
Program assistance payments may not exceed 120% FMR for your parish.
The Fair Market Rent rate values are established by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to be used as a basis for paying federal housing assistance programs like the Housing Choice Voucher Program (often called “Section 8”) 24 CFR Part 888.
FMR is determined by conducting a nationwide survey each year.
FMR values are gross rent prices (plus utilities) for a specific area or parish.
To find FMR values for your parish, click here.
Are renters and/or landlords of mobile homes eligible to receive assistance under this program?
Rental payments for either manufactured homes and / or the parcel of land the manufactured home occupies were eligible for financial assistance under the Louisiana ERAP.
How do I appeal a determination of ineligibility?
Applicants have the opportunity to appeal a determination of ineligibility within 30 days of receiving their ineligibility letter. To appeal a determination, applicants should email [email protected] the following information:
Detailed explanation of the request to appeal
The program will respond within 15 days upon receipt of an appeal after conducting a Review Determination. Questions about the appeal process can be directed to [email protected].
How do I apply for the Louisiana Emergency Rental Assistance Program?
Applications for the Louisiana Emergency Rental Assistance Program closed on December 21, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.
Applicants residing in one of the seven Local Government Units administering their own emergency rental assistance programs need to contact those parish program administrators listed below for application procedures in their respective communities. These programs may vary in terms of eligibility, prioritization, benefits and application process.
* The ERA Program for Lafayette Parish is being administered by two programs. To view contact information for each program, click here.
What will I need to provide to prove my financial hardship or housing instability?
Applicants must provide documentation or certified self-attestation to validate eligibility and financial hardship. For a list of required information and documents, review the program applicant checklists here.
To the extent that it is administratively feasible, applicants must demonstrate they have:
A household income does not exceed 80% of area median income limit (AMI)
Qualified for unemployment benefits, or
Experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to COVID-19 that threaten the household’s ability to pay the costs of the rental property when due.
Received a past due rent notice, past due utility notice, or an eviction notice or is experiencing housing instability
How is household income defined and verified?
Applicants must submit an accurate count of every member of their household and the income generated by all members of the household of age 18 and over. Failure to do so may result in the household being deemed ineligible based on the household's income exceeding the 80% of area median income.
To verify income, tenants will be asked to provide income source documentation for at least the two months prior to the submission of the program application.
Acceptable documentation includes:
Personal wage information available from the Louisiana Workforce Commission to verify your income.
IRS Form 1040 filed for the 2020 calendar year
W-2 wage statements for 2020
Two most recent pay stubs
Signed payment schedule from an employer
Unemployment compensation statements
Provide self-attestation and/or self-certification of financial hardship, risk of homelessness or housing instability, and income, as necessary.
I am having trouble uploading documents and updating my application within the Applicant Portal. How do I get help?
Please make sure that you are using an updated Internet browser when trying to upload documents in the Applicant Portal. In many browsers, like Google Chrome, the top right corner will indicate when an update is overdue or ready.
If your computer is still having issues saving new documents or information, log into the Applicant Portal on your phone and submit those documents or information using your phone's Internet browser. Additionally, there are apps available to download on your mobile smartphone device to facilitate the document scanning and upload process. These apps can use the phone’s photo function to create a scan of your document(s) and make those scanned files available for sharing. We encourage applicants to research and utilize if available and accessible on your mobile device.
Should you continue to experience challenges in uploading your required application documents after troubleshooting with the options detailed above, please email [email protected]. You can also watch a video that walks through troubleshooting tips here.
How are Louisiana ERAP applications processed, and how is applicant information stored?
Applicant information, including applications and any other supporting documentation, will be stored securely in the program’s online portal. Both renters and landlord can access the portal and submit documents and information. Applicants will receive program notifications and updates regarding their applications from the online system and can contact program case managers and / or administrators via the online portal. Should an applicant be unable to access the online portal or have other technical challenges, the applicant can email [email protected] to submit necessary documentation.
Is there a deadline to submit my application?
Applications for the Louisiana Emergency Rental Assistance Program closed December 21 at 5 p.m.
If I apply for both rental and utility assistance, will those requests be processed at the same time?
Once an applicant is approved to receive rental assistance, payment to landlords and to utility providers are processed and paid separately.
What if my name is not on the utility bill?
Within the system, you have the option to select whether the account holder is someone who is not a member of the household.
If I have already received rental assistance through the program, can I also receive assistance with utilities?
Yes, if you have already received rental assistance from the program, you can access your application file through the Applicant Portal to add a request for assistance for utilities. Create a Utilities Assistance Help Ticket with all of the requested utility billing information.
Who is eligible for recertification?
Applicants who were approved and funded for initial rental assistance and remain in good standing were able to recertify their need for assistance. Recertification tickets closed on December 15 at 5 p.m. Applicants who continue to meet the program eligibility criteria will be considered for the additional 3 months of assistance.
Renters will be deemed ineligible if they no longer meet income criteria (below 80% AMI).
Renters will be deemed ineligible if they no longer live in an eligible parish.
Renter may be deemed ineligible if they cannot provide valid information to support other program requirements such as a lease to support a change in rent amount or valid rental agreement at a new address.
How do I check the status of my Recertification request?
A tenant can check their Recertification status through the following steps:
Step 1: Log into their application using their existing username and password at https://lastaterent-portal.com/login.
Step 2: On the main landing page after logging in, please look at the "Recertification Status" line under "Application Status."
Applicant does not need to click 'View Application,' or open any tickets.
Step 3: View current status of Recertification – options are:
"Approved (Landlord Payment)," or "Approved (Direct Tenant Payment)
I would like to recertify my need for rental assistance, but I have a new landlord. Can I still receive additional assistance?
Yes, tenants may still be eligible for Recertification if the landlord or rental company has changed. This change must have been noted on the Recertification Ticket and the tenant is required to upload a current lease or documentation of rental obligation noting the change.
What if I forgot my password?
What if I have a new email address?
Please email [email protected] for assistance if your email address has changed. Even if your contact email has changed, your username has not. Your username remains the email address that was used to create your initial application.
Funding and Payment
How are the funds distributed?
In almost all circumstances, the rent payments will go directly to landlords. Federal rules provide that if a landlord refuses to participate in the program, a tenant can still apply and receive emergency rental assistance. Utility payments will go directly to utility providers.
Can ERAP funding be combined with other funding?
ERAP program and payments cannot be duplicated by any other federally funded rental assistance provided to an eligible household. Examples of this restriction listed below.
An eligible household that occupies a federally subsidized residential or mixed-use property may receive ERAP assistance, provided that ERAP funds are not applied to costs that have been or will be reimbursed under any other federal assistance.
If an eligible household receives a monthly federal subsidy (e.g., a Housing Choice Voucher, Public Housing, or Project- Based Rental Assistance) and the tenant rent is adjusted according to changes in income, the renter household may not receive ERA assistance.
If a household receives rental assistance other than the ERA, the ERA assistance may only be used to pay for costs, such as the tenant-paid portion of rent and utility costs, that are not paid for by the other rental assistance. Pursuant to section 501(k)(3)(B) of Subdivision N of the Act and 2 CFR 200.403, when providing ERA assistance, the grantee must review the household’s income and sources of assistance to confirm that the ERA assistance does not duplicate any other assistance, including federal, state, and local assistance provided for the same costs.
Are there situations where funds received from the program must be paid back?
Yes, there may be instances where funds must be repaid to the Louisiana Emergency Rental Assistance Program if they are not able to be used for the specific purpose for which they were received. For example, if a tenant vacates a rental unit before the end of the assistance period, the excess funds must be repaid, or if a utility provider received payment for services after those services were terminated, the utility provider must repay the difference. If you have questions about whether repayment is required, contact [email protected].
In instance of REPAYMENT:
All landlord or tenant applicants or utility company repaying funds must issue a check made out to “GOHSEP” (“State of Louisiana” is also acceptable) with the Tenant’s Name and Applicant ID in the memo line. The check is to be mailed to the following address:
LA Emergency Rental Assistance Program
8545 United Plaza Blvd, STE 101
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
I have applied and was determined to be ineligible. Can I appeal and how?
Yes. The applicant will be sent a Notice of Ineligibility by email that includes instruction about how to appeal the decision. If the program has determined an applicant is ineligible based on the information received in the application and the renter or landlord applicant has additional information that would affect that determination, then the applicant is urged to send an appeal to [email protected].
The State will acknowledge receipt of the applicant’s appeal request and route it for review by the appeals team. As part of an appeal, applicants should include their Application ID, Applicant Name, a detailed explanation of the appeal request detailing new information regarding the reason for denial cited in the original Notice of Ineligibility, as well as any supporting documentation. A thorough review of each appeal will be performed and the State requests applicants to be patient and responsive during the review process. Refer to your original Notice of Ineligibility along with the Document Checklists (renter and landlord) and the Program Guide (for its section regarding appeals) on the Resources page of the LaStateRent website for guidance on appealing.
An applicant is allowed only ONE appeal; the resulting review determination from that single appeal cannot be further appealed. If your appeal is approved, your application along with your appeal supporting documentation will be reviewed again for funding eligibility. An approved appeal does not automatically result in approved program funding.
How am I notified regarding my appeal request?
For Appeal Approval
If the applicant’s appeal request is approved, the Case Manager will reach out for additional information and / or a Notification of Approval will be sent out to the corresponding approved tenant(s). The application portal status will also update to reflect “Application under Review” versus “Deemed Ineligible” if the appeal is approved.
For Appeal Denial
The Program’s application portal system will generate another Notice of Ineligibility if the applicant is denied a second time following the single appeal. Please, be reminded that an applicant is allowed only ONE appeal; the resulting review determination from that single appeal cannot be further appealed.
What type of documentation should I supply for my appeal request?
Applicants are reminded to refer to the Document Checklists (renter and landlord) and the Program Guide on the Resources page of the LaStateRent website for guidance on appealing. The checklist details the types of documents required to be considered and validated for program eligibility. Very often with our program appeals, applicants must provide valid proof of obligation to pay rent along with valid proof of property ownership / authority to rent and proof of residency in said rental property.
Be reminded that the Program can only accept original, unaltered documents for a rental assistance application. The submission of any type of altered document may render the application or appeal ineligible.