Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

Behind on rent
due to COVID-19?

Help is here


ERAP people

About the Program

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) has been created to help individuals and families who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 to pay rent and/or utilities dating as early as March 2020. If you rent your home and have fallen behind in monthly payments to your landlord, you may be eligible for funding that could prevent you from eviction due to non-payment.

Who IS Eligible?

  • Household owes at least one month of rent OR utility bill OR anticipates need for future rental assistance;
  • Household head or co-head suffered loss of income due to COVID-19;
  • One or more household members at risk of homelessness due to nonpayment of rent;
  • And, household annual income is at or below 80% of area median income (AM). (See chart below)

Check Your Income Eligibility Using The Chart Below

VIHFA ERAP income chart VIHFA ERAP income example

Who IS NOT Eligible?

  • Persons seeking mortgage assistance
  • Household annual income is above 80% of area median income (AMI) (See chart above)
man and woman

What Will I Need To Apply?

  1. Your landlord's name, mailing address, and telephone number
  2. Statement of rent owed or eviction notice from your landlord
  3. Birth certificate OR Real ID Driver's License and Social Security cards for all household members
  4. Signed copy of lease/rental agreement
  5. Valid ID or current utility bill verifying USVI residency
  6. Past due notice showing utilities owed (electric and/or water)
  7. Copy of 2019 tax return (if applicable)
  8. Proof of household income status (as applicable)
    1. Unemployment insurance statement
    2. Job letter
    3. Layoff or furlough letter
    4. At least 2 months worth of paystubs
    5. Social Security benefit letter

Download Checklist

How Can I Apply?

Download ApplicationDownload the application and follow the instructions in the application to submit via email to erap@vihfa.gov.

Or, to apply in-person, please call one of our ERAP intake centers (listed by island below) to schedule an appointment.

St. Thomas

  • Family Resource Center340.776.3966

    16B & 17 Commandant Gade
    Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
    (On Bunker Hill - 4 blocks away from Bunker Hill hotel)

  • The Salvation Army of St. Thomas340.776.0070

    Main Street (Market Sq.)
    Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

  • Methodist Training & Outreach Center340.714.7782

    #4A Kronprindsens Gade
    Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

  • Catholic Charities of the V.I.340.777.8518

    2298 Kronprindsens Gade
    Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

St. John

  • St. John Community Foundation340.693.9410

    5000 Estate Enighed Suite 201
    Cruz Bay, St. John
    (In the offices above Starfish Market Grocery Store in the Market Place)

St. Croix

  • Women's Coalition of St. Croix340-773-9272

    45 Fisher Street
    Christiansted, St. Croix

  • The Salvation Army of St. Croix340-642-4699

    2B Mount Pleasant
    Frederiksted, St. Croix

  • Methodist Training & Outreach Center340-713-0555

    22 King Street
    Christiansted, St. Croix

  • Catholic Charities of the V.I.340-773-0132

    #16 Friedenstahl
    (St. Teresa House of Hope)
    Christiansted, St. Croix

  • St. Croix Mission Outreach340-778-4357

    20 King Street (2nd Floor)
    Christiansted, St. Croix

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To be eligible, your household needs to meet all three (3) of the following criteria: One or more individuals within the household has qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 outbreak; 2) One or more individuals within the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and 3) The household has a household income at or below 80% of area median income.
The program must make payments directly to the landlord or utility company. An exception can be made if the provider refuses to accept payment from the program.
Yes; however, ERA payments may not duplicate any other source of assistance provided to an eligible household. 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 receive ERA assistance only for the tenant-owed portion of rent or utilities that is not subsidized.
Presently, the plan is to accept applications through December 1, 2021, subject to the availability of funds.
Eligible households may receive up to 12 months of assistance in rental arrears dating no earlier than March 2020, plus an additional 3 months if the program determines the extra months are needed to ensure housing stability and funds are available. Assistance will first be provided to reduce an eligible household’s rental arrears before the household may receive assistance for future rent payments.
No. There is no cap on the amount of assistance; however, the maximum amount of rental assistance that the program can pay for each eligible month is equal to the tenant’s amount of rent for that month, not including late fees and other costs. Eligible households may receive up to 12 months of assistance in rental arrears.
Please remember that from the time of application to approval will vary case by case. There is a verification process that must be followed. However, once an application has been approved and the applicant has been notified of approval, payment should be received within 60 days.
Yes. One applicant can apply for rental assistance AND utility assistance on the same application provided they supply all of the required documentation for rent and utilities arrears.
Yes, rent for formerly occupied rentals is eligible for assistance. However, you will still have to provide documents (i.e., a signed lease or rental agreement, statement of rent owed, etc.) to verify that rent was owed over the specified time period.
Yes, however, assistance payments would only be available as of monies owed beginning in March 2020. The tenant will still be liable for any rent owed prior to March 2020.
A landlord can assist the tenant in completion of and submitting the application, however, the tenant will still have to supply all personal documents required for verification of eligibility.