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End to Covid Emergency Rental Assistance Program Approaches

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By Press Release

TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) announced Nov. 15 that the second phase of the Covid Emergency Rental Assistance Program (CVERAP) and Eviction Protection Program application period will be closing on Dec. 15.
The CVERAP program, which has been a statewide effort to help keep people housed during the pandemic, was initiated in 2019 to offer relief to low- and moderate-income households that are unable to pay rent due to Covid. 
The programs are administered by DCA’s Division of Housing and Community Resources and have thus far distributed more than $421 million in federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) funds to 47,329 New Jersey households.
“We are urging New Jersey residents who are unable to pay their rent to apply for assistance before the application period closes on December 15,” Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner, stated. “We also want people to be aware of the risk of being evicted from their home for non-payment of rent and to protect themselves by filling out the eviction protection self-certification form offered by the State.” 
Applications will remain open for the Covid Emergency Rental Assistance and Eviction Prevention Program (EPP) through Dec. 15. People can visit njdca.onlinepha.com to apply for both of these programs. Applications can be submitted online with the use of a personal computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. The application is available in ten languages.
Households should be advised that applicants are not guaranteed assistance because the number of applications will exceed the funding currently on hand to provide rental relief. All applications received before the deadline will be included in the lottery in an effort to fairly distribute the remaining federal funds.
In addition to providing financial help through the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program and Eviction Prevention Program, the State introduced critical eviction protections for renter households that have experienced economic hardships during the pandemic.
To be protected from eviction due to nonpayment of rent during the pandemic, residents must first self-certify for these protections. To find out more about current eviction protections available and how to self-certify for these protections, people can visit covid19.nj.gov/renter.
People with questions or who have difficulty accessing the internet when applying for these programs should contact DCA’s call center at 609-490-4550 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.
The call center is staffed with English and Spanish speakers and has translation services for other languages. Pre-applications may be submitted over the phone by those without internet access.
Landlords may apply for assistance on behalf of a tenant. The landlord must:
·     Obtain the signature of the tenant on the application, which may be documented electronically; and
·     Must provide documentation of the application to the tenant to notify the tenant that the application has been submitted.
 As part of the programs, DCA is encouraging landlords to agree to a reasonable payment plan for any rent arrears and rent not covered by the rental assistance and commit to not filing for eviction for non-payment of rent during the term of the assistance.

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