Congressman Josh Harder, D-Turlock, announced that more than $29 million in rental and utility assistance is now available for San Joaquin County families through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).
The ERAP will help qualified tenants address unpaid rent, utilities, and prevent eviction. The application will be available through an online portal, where the applicant will create an account and submit an electronic application. Those living in San Joaquin County communities other than Stockton, or in unincorporated County areas, may apply at www.sjgov.org/covid19/grants.
“No one should have to explain to their child why the lights won’t turn on or why they have to sleep in the car tonight,” Harder said. “My job is to bring home the resources our families need, and this $29 million in funding will have a direct impact in so many peoples’ lives. If you or someone you love is struggling to keep a roof over their head, please reach out to San Joaquin County and take advantage of this program.”
The $29 million in assistance is funded through a combination of federal and state resources. The federal funding was passed by Congress through last year’s funding bill and allocated to the Treasury Department for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). The ERAP grant funds will be available until exhausted, or September 30, 2021, whichever occurs first. The funds will generally be paid directly to the landlord and/or utility companies on behalf of the applicant. Qualified applicants must have income at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), with priority given to those with income below 50 percent of AMI.
In addition to the above sum, San Joaquin County is expecting approximately $9 million in funds through the American Rescue Plan recently passed by Congress for rental assistance which will be used to augment the ERAP. Renters and tenants should email ERAPQuestions@sjgov.org or call 211 with any questions. This program comes on the heels of the $16 million in rental and utility assistance currently being distributed by Stanislaus County.