Emergency Rental Assistance Program

St. Joseph County’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) is designed to decrease evictions, increase housing stability, and prevent homelessness by helping those whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a rental household in St. Joseph County, Indiana (homeowners do not qualify for this program)​

  • Income at or below the income chart below​​

  • Must meet one of the following COVID-19 job loss or income reduction criteria:

    • Received unemployment benefits on or after 4/1/2020

    • Experienced a reduction in income due to an involuntary job layoff, reduced work hours or reduced pay

    • Had significant costs or experienced a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Must meet one of the following criteria for housing instability:

    • Accumulation or expectation of back rental or utility payments

    • Current housing cost burden (paying 30% or more of total household income on rent)​

    • Doubling or tripling up with other households, creating an unsafe or unhealthy living condition

    • Informal renting arrangements with little or no legal protection (ie. handshake lease)

    • Forgoing or delaying purchase of food, medicine, childcare, or transportation in order to pay rent and utilities

    • Relying on credit cards, payday lending, depleting savings, or high cost loans to pay rent and utilities

Additional Documentation Required:

  • Written lease in the applicant's name (can be provided by tenant or landlord)

  • Proof of income for all adults in the home including

    • Wage Statements

    • Interest Statements

    • Unemployment Statements

    • Paystubs showing income before and after a reduction in salary or hours

    • IRS form 1040 (for 2020)

    • Benefits letter from programs such as SSI, SSD, SNAP, WIP, HIP, TANF or school lunch program dated after 1/1/2020

  • Proof of COVID-19 financial impact

    • Unemployment benefits

    • W-2s, wage statements, tax filings, bank statements, etc., showing loss​ of income

    • Written testimony if income is not verifiable due to business closure, income received in cash or no qualifying income

  • Must be able to provide utility bills, proof from landlord about outstanding rent, etc.