The purpose of the eligibility screening criteria is to initially open the program assistance to a large group of households and then target those most likely to become homeless but for this assistance.
Households must meet two initial screening criteria:
Current Income (0ver last 60 days) at or below 80% of Area Median Income.
At least one month of rent not paid or partially unpaid since March 1, 2020.
Household must also meet at least one of the following additional screening criteria (any member of the household can meet the criteria, it doesn’t have to be the head of household):
Rent burdened: 50% or more of current monthly income is needed to pay rent.
Previously homeless within last five (5) years. This includes experiences of couch surfing/double up.
Eviction history within last seven (7) years.
Housing disrupted due to household member race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religion.
At risk of severe illness as per CDC (62 or older, underlying condition).
Disability of any household member. Includes a physical, developmental, mental, or emotional impairment, including impairment caused by alcohol or drug abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, or brain injury. A person with HIV/AIDS is considered disabled.
If screening a young adult age 24 or younger, these additional criteria can be used to determine eligibility:
Person 24 years old or younger that is pregnant or parenting.
Person 24 years old or younger that is a recipient (current or past) from any one of the following: foster care; adoption; mental health; drug, alcohol treatment; court systems.
United States citizenship is NOT an eligibility requirement of this program. According to Federal Guidance, assistance received through this program should NOT count as a public benefit for the purpose of determining whether someone is considered a public charge. Public charge refers to non-US citizens who have received one or more public benefits, for more than 12 months within any 36-month period. A person considered a public charge is ineligible to become a lawful permanent resident.
Qualified applicants can receive up to six months of rent payments in any combination of rental arrears, current rent or future rent through December 2020. (A January 2021 rent payment is allowed as long as the rent payment is made in December 2020. No rent payments past January 2021 are allowed.)
Future rent can only be one month, the month following the current rent.
Rent is considered in arrears as soon as the payment to the Landlord or Friend/Family is missed.
Households can access the program more than once. If a household enrolled in the last 60 days, then their Household Information and Eligibility paperwork is still valid for additional services. If 60 days has passed, they need new eligibility paperwork. In either case, new Payment forms are necessary for additional rent payments made on their behalf.
Payments to landlords or friend/family can only be up to 80% of total rent due (arrears, current, future) OR the Fair Market Rent rate; grantees can choose the greater of the two amounts but the payment amount must not be more than the total rent amount due.