2552-Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) Questions & Answers

  1. Is this any type of emergency rental assistance or COVID related housing barriers only?
    • An "eligible household" is defined as a renter household in which at least one or more individuals meets the following criteria:
      1. Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19
      2. Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability
      3. Has a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median income
  2. Can one agency apply on behalf of a cohort of community-based agencies? For example, in the north suburbs there are 4 agencies that provide emergency rental assistance - could the application be considered for a $4M award?
    • Yes, however, the agency that applies is responsible for the entire contract amount and that agency will need to submit the subcontracts to the Department for approval.
  3. Does this funding adhere to the new federal Treasury guidance? The new guidance includes:
    1. Eligibility for households in federally assisted housing
    2. Eligibility and encouragement to use funding for moving expenses, security deposits, future rent, and utilities for people who are experiencing homelessness or doubled up
    3. Allows for household to self-certify their COVIS-19 related hardship and allows programs to verify eligibility based on readily available information or "proxies," such as the average income of the neighborhood in which renters live.
      • The eligibility for this funding does include all of the examples mentioned in this question.
  4. Is there a form DHS is providing applicants to complete to supply this information?
    • Attachment 2: Program Staff Contact Information
    • Attachment 3: Fiscal Staff Contact Information
    • Attachment 4: Contract Staff Information
    • This information can be submitted electronically in Word.
  5. Is there a specific format template for the budget? If so, where can I find it?
  6. When can we expect a response from the Internal Control and Risk Assessment Questionnaires?
    • The Department does not send out a response to the Internal Control and Risk Assessment Questionnaires. If a provider is chosen and has deficiencies, those deficiencies will be addressed in the contract.
  7. Can clients receive this rental assistance if they have received other rental assistance in the last year, for example from any CARES Act funding?
    • Clients can receive this assistance as long as the client has not received assistance covering the same month for which they are applying for.
  8. Would a client have to prove any COVID related documentation?
    • Given the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, grantees may be flexible as to the particular form of documentation they require, including by permitting photocopies or digital photographs of documents, e-mails, or attestations from employers, landlords, caseworkers, or others with knowledge of the household's circumstances. Grantees must require all applications for assistance to include an attestation from the applicant that all information included is correct and complete.
  9. How far back can the rental assistance go back to?
    • The rental assistance can be provided for up to 12 months of arrearage and 3 months going forward for stabilization.
  10. What income documentation would we be required to have?
    • Most recently filed taxes, most recent paystub, bank statement, letter from employer, Social Security documents, Disability Insurance documents, pension documents, court ordered payments, unemployment documentation, IRS verification of non-filing, W-2, Affidavit.
  11. What are the income guidelines?
    • Recipients cannot exceed 80% Area Median Income (AMI). Priority will be given to applicants with household income below 50% of the AMI.
  12. Is there a cap on how much you can help one client/family?
    • There is no cap on assistance as long as there is no duplication of assistance for any particular month.
  13. What kind of documentation would we need proving back rent?
    • Letter from landlord, eviction notice, past due invoices, lease.
  14. Can the grant amount exceed the $1,000,000 limit?
    • Yes, the applicant must provide proof of capacity and experience working with rental assistance programs to exceed $1,000,000 in funding.
  15. Is there a standardized application or would the grantee create their own?
    • The Uniform Grant Application is available on the NOFO. Grantee can provide all other required information electronically using Word.
  16. What other documentation would be required, ID, SS card, tax records, employer letter, landlord ledger, lease?
    1. Proof of Identity:
      1. State ID or Driver's License, Temporary Visitor Driver's License(TVDL)
      2. For Undocumented (Non-Visa Status) Individuals:
        1. City or County ID (Chicago City Key ID)
        2. Passport
        3. Matricula Consular, Consular Identification
        4. School ID
    2. Proof of Address:
      1. State ID or Driver's License, Temporary Visitor Driver's License (TVDL)
      2. Utility Bill
      3. Lease
      4. Bank Statement
      5. Paystub
  17. Can we apply for rental assistance for our tenants who we applied for through the IHDA rental assistance program for their rents to be paid through IDHS from September 2021 to June 2022 if their rental assistance through IHDA was approved?
    • As long as there is no duplication of payment for rental/utility assistance
  18. We currently have a Supportive Housing grant with IDHS. Can our current staff members also be staff members under this grant?
    • Yes, as long as staff time does not go over 100% between the two grants.
  19. For the FY22 ERA NOFO Application, up to what percentage of a grant award is allowed for case management?
    • There is not a limit on the percentage of a grant award for case management.
  20. Is Contract Staff referring to temporary staff that may be providing direct services? Or is this referring to possible subcontractors?
    • Contract staff are not regular personnel; they are staff who you hire to provide a particular service.
  21. As a victim service provider, we are not allowed to put our clients into databases where their information is identifiable. Are we exempt from this requirement? If not, then we will be unable to apply.
    • The IHDA Database only accepts addresses.
  22. Would we be able to enter people into the system using a unique identifier, like we do in InfoNet, the state's victim service provider database?
    • You are required to enter the applicant's address in the IHDA Database.
  23. Is there anticipated renewability of ERAP beyond FY22 for awarded grantees?
    • This grant will not be renewable beyond FY22
  24. Can a grantee rollover dollars into the next fiscal year (FY23) of unspent rental assistance?
    • This grant is solely for the State Fiscal Year 2022.
  25. Is ERAP funded by ERA 1 or ERA 2 dollars?
    • ERA 1 dollars
  26. ERA 1 allows 10% of funds paid to a grantee be used for administrative and indirect costs. ERA 2 allows 15% of funds paid to a grantee be used for administrative and indirect costs. Can you confirm how much (10% or 15%) ERAP allows for a grantee to use for administrative and indirect costs?
    • This grant is offering ERA 1 funds, so the administrative costs cannot exceed 10% of the Emergency Rental Assistance funds.
  27. Will this funding serve people of all immigration statuses including undocumented? Will use of this funding trigger public charge?
    • This funding serves people of all immigration statuses and will not trigger a public charge.
  28. If someone has a mortgage and utility arrearage, can ERAP cover just the cost of utilities? We understand that mortgage costs aren't covered, but could the utilities be covered?
    • ERAP can only serve renters for rent/utility assistance.
  29. How do single mothers apply to get help with rent?
    • Single mothers can apply for rental assistance just as any other person or family.
  30. Regarding Attachment 6: Budget Information, is this attachment the same as the Uniform Grant Budget?
    • Yes
  31. In section H - attachment 5 - job descriptions. Would you like job descriptions for every position we seek funding for (direct program personnel and admin)?
    • Yes
  32. In section H - attachment 7 - subrecipient budgets. Can we attach the section from the uniform grant budget where we outline subrecipient expenses? Does it need to be a different format or more specific?
    • No each subrecipient has to submit a budget. The budget is the same format.
  33. I see that we can request up to 10% for administrative costs. Direct program personnel expenses for our case managers and support staff who are directly helping people access ERA funds would not be included in this 10%. Can you please confirm.
    • Yes
  34. Attachment 5: Job Descriptions - Which staff job descriptions are being requested to be included with this application submission? Is it only the program staff (Case Managers) involved with handling the pass-through dollars? Would a Grants Manager job description be needed?
    • Any position the grant will be paying for.