DCA Disburses More Than $400 Million in Federal Emergency Rental Assistance
- Posted on: 11/10/2021
Assistance Department is Urging Residents to Apply for Rental Assistance and Self-Certify to Get Protected from Eviction
TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) continues to disburse federal Emergency Rental Assistance funds at a rapid pace, announcing today that it has distributed more than $407 million in federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) funds to New Jersey residents. The rental relief has been distributed to 45,748 households by DCA’s Division of Housing and Community Resources through the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (CVERAP).
“New Jersey continues to be a national leader in disbursing rental assistance to people financially impacted by the pandemic,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “In addition to rental assistance, we’re urging residents who are in danger of being evicted from their home to protect themselves by filling out the eviction protection self-certification form offered by the State.”
As part of the statewide effort to help keep people housed, DCA has also been administering COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance funds to residents on behalf of Morris and Burlington counties. Thus far, DCA has helped disburse $12,952,767 in Burlington County and $12,186,575 in Morris County. To date, this partnership with DCA has resulted in 105 percent of the total ERA Phase 1 funds being distributed in Burlington County and 86 percent in Morris County.
“The DCA has been a key partner in enabling Morris County to allocate emergency rental assistance funding more quickly and efficiently to assist both tenants and landlords. Included in the partnership have been the courts, legal services and a wide variety of community based organizations, all of whom have helped tenants and landlords to navigate the application process and receive the necessary relief from financial hardships many have encountered due to the pandemic," said Kasey Errico, Human Services Director of Morris County. "As this work continues, Morris County’s continued partnership with DCA will be a critical element to stabilizing the communities across Morris County."
“Helping Burlington County residents in danger of losing their homes has become incredibly important throughout the pandemic, and our partnership with the Department of Community Affairs has already succeeded in helping more than 1,700 of our county’s households avoid eviction or having to relocate elsewhere,” said Burlington County Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson. “It’s an incredible success story that shows what can be accomplished when all levels of government work together, and we look forward to continuing to partner with DCA to assist more families in need.”
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 https://covid19.nj.gov/renter.
Applications are still open to apply for COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance and the Eviction Prevention Program. People can visit https://njdca.onlinepha.com/ to apply for both at the same time. Applications can be submitted online with the use of a personal computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. The application is available in ten languages.
People with questions or who have difficulty accessing the internet 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.
Last month, DCA announced that it had expended the entire first tranche of $353 million in federal Emergency Rental Assistance it had received by October 15, beating the federal deadline to spend the funds by nearly one year. This milestone followed a U.S. Treasury report released in August that showed New Jersey as first in the nation among state-administered ERA programs in terms of percentage of Emergency Rental Assistance funds spent.
The funding milestone announced today is in addition to the $91.75 million that DCA distributed to 15,000 households in the first phase of the CVERAP program last year.
DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including energy assistance, housing vouchers, affordable housing production, fire and building safety, community planning and development, local government management and finance, and disaster recovery and mitigation.
For more information about DCA, visit https://nj.gov/dca/ or follow the Department on social media: