Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

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Funding is Wrapping Up

As of July 1, 2022 the temporary pandemic-related funding for emergency rental assistance is entering its final phase.

The Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) is working to phase out the emergency response and begin transitioning to longer-term, sustainable recovery. 

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Long-Term Recovery and Stabilization

DOLA is narrowing its focus on aid efforts to those areas where it can have lasting impact as the State emerges from the pandemic and the State's emergency response begins to wind down. 

Due to the economic and social impacts of the pandemic, Colorado has become increasingly aware of housing insecurity throughout the state and the shortage of affordable housing. With the ongoing goal of best serving Coloradans, DOLA plans on working closely with its nonprofit and national contractor partners. It remains our primary concern to keep people housed, and ensure any experience of homelessness is as brief as possible.

Application Timelines
  • On average, applications can take up to six (6) weeks to complete if all documentation is provided at the initial time of application.
  • To assist in expediting the application process, ensure all requests from the reviewer or Neighborly Software are responded to in a timely manner.
  • Note: These requests can be for the applicant or landlord. 
  • After approval of the application, payment should be received within 10 days.
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City and County Assistance Programs

Cities or counties within Colorado that are considered larger jurisdictions (have a population of 200,000 or more) received their own emergency rental assistance allocations from the United States Treasury.  Each jurisdiction has administered and expended their funds at various rates. Therefore, some jurisdictions have more funding available than other jurisdictions and/or the State. If you reside in one of the counties below, you are encouraged to contact the county directly to verify availability of funds. 

Colorado Counties with emergency rental assistance funds still available 

These are subject to change and residents of these counties are encouraged to reach out to each county directly to verify the availability of funds.

Apply or Continue your Application

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Contacting the Emergency Rental Assistance Program

For inquiries regarding rental assistance cases connect with a representative by calling or texting 720-356-0174 or 1-888-480-0066, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. mountain time, and on Saturdays 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

The above telephone number will be the quickest method to get questions answered about your application. 

Please Note:  The Care Center will be closed on Friday, October 7, 2022, due to the non-profit provider recognizing Indigenous Peoples' Day.  Care Center Hours will resume Saturday, October 8, 2022.

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Tenant and Landlord Application, Eligibility, and Program FAQs

What is happening?

For the past 15 months, the State of Colorado through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program has provided assistance to more than 30,000 households. The goal of the program was to mitigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people who were at an increased risk of losing their housing due to challenges with paying rent, as many people found their jobs eliminated or paused.  This temporary short-term emergency program kept people housed, and allowed landlords to catch up on their mortgages.

As the Emergency Rental Assistance funding is coming to a close, the Department of Local Affairs is working to phase out the emergency response and transition to longer-term, sustainable recovery. 

 

Why is the funding ending?

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program was designed as a short-term, time-limited response to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and the economic hardship it created for many households. The Emergency Rental Assistance Program was funded through two federal Emergency Rental Assistance bills (H.R. 133 and H.R. 1319), both of which have fixed end-dates and neither of which are known to be included in future federal Emergency Rental Assistance budgets. Therefore, when the Emergency Rental Assistance funds are fully expended, the program in its current form will end.

 

How long is the rental assistance available?

At this time, the application portal remains open. Coloradans who have not yet applied for or received Emergency Rental Assistance are encouraged to apply. If you have already received assistance, you may be eligible for one more recertification (i.e., up to an additional 3 months of rental assistance). 

Beginning July 1, 2022, each household will only be eligible for one additional recertification so long as funding remains available.  As this short-term COVID-response program begins to wind-down, the application portal will eventually close in late summer or early fall, depending upon funding availability. 

Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible while funds remain available.

 

Does this impact everyone in the state or is it by county?

Cities or counties within Colorado who are considered larger jurisdictions (have a population of 200,000 or more) did receive their own Emergency Rental Assistance allocations from the US Treasury.

Each jurisdiction has administered and expended their funds at various rates. Therefore, some jurisdictions have more funding available than others and/or the State. 

Because the Department of Local Affairs Emergency Rental Assistance Program is covering the majority of the balance of the state residents, Colorado’s funds were spent more quickly than individual jurisdictions.  

Follow up-to-date instructions from specific county websites regarding local and state allocation availability. If your jurisdiction/county’s application portal is open, they may still be accepting applications. If it is listed as a “closed” jurisdiction, there are no additional funds available for your area.

 

What counties still have Emergency Rental Assistance funds available? 

At this time, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, and Larimer counties have emergency rental assistance  funds available.

These are subject to change and residents of these counties are encouraged to reach out to each county directly to verify the availability of funds.

 

Who is eligible for additional rounds of assistance?

If you are a returning household, you are eligible for only one more round of assistance.  

As of July 1, 2022, each household will be eligible for up to one additional round of assistance, as long as funds are available. If you are a new, qualified applicant and you have not applied for or received your initial round of assistance, you are eligible for your initial round and may be eligible for an additional round of up to 3 months, depending on availability of funds. 

This is to ensure every eligible Coloradan who applies while funding is available is able to receive some assistance. If you have already reached your 18-month maximum, you are not eligible to receive any additional assistance. For these reasons, it is imperative that everyone work diligently to plan for the ending of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.  

 

How many applications are pending?

This is a constantly fluctuating number as applications move through the processing timeline. Currently, applications are taking anywhere from 4-6 weeks to approve and issue payment, depending on the completeness of the applications and how often our reviewers need to follow-up for additional information. 

 

What additional resources are available to people facing housing instability?

Many local cities and counties and their nonprofit partners have local resources available to assist residents facing housing instability. However, no jurisdiction, nor the State of Colorado, has access to the unprecedented levels of funding we have seen with the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Rent will continue to be due according to your lease without subsidy or assistance as this program sunsets.

 

Do you foresee Emergency Rental Assistance Round 3 funding?

At this time, Congress has not approved any additional rounds of Emergency Rental Assistance funding. 

 

DOLA also has the Emergency Mortgage Assistance program, will this also impact this program?

No, the funding sources for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program and Emergency Mortgage Assistance program are completely separate. 

Emergency Mortgage Assistance program

Getting Ready

Determine if you are eligible.

Determine Tenant Eligibility

 

Have you talked with your landlord? Once you do, gather the following:

  • Landlord’s email address and phone number
  • Government-issued ID for primary applicant and anyone over 18 who has zero income
  • Lease or other document showing you live at the property
  • Rent statement or ledger showing what you owe for rent
  • Income documentation for all adult household members

Tenant Application

 

Application FAQs

What do tenants need to apply?

Most tenants will only need the following items:

  • Landlord’s email address and phone number
  • Government-issued ID for primary applicant and anyone over 18 who has zero income
  • Lease or other document showing you live at the property
  • Rent statement or ledger showing what you owe for past do rent and other applicable fees
  • Income documentation for all adult household members
  • Additional documentation may also be requested from Tenant applications for due diligence and/or to demonstrate the Landlord/Tenant relationship prior to the request for rental assistance.

Tenant documents needed to apply.

 

What do landlords need to apply?

Most landlords will only need the following items:

  • Tenant's name and contact information
  • Tenant lease or other proof they live at your property
  • Tenant rent statement or ledger showing what they owe
  • Completed IRS Form W-9 (Dated within one (1) year of application)
  • Verification of Property Ownership and/or property management from the owner.
  • Additional documentation may also be requested from Landlord applications for due diligence and/or to demonstrate that the Landlord/Tenant relationship prior to the request for rental assistance.

Landlord documents needed to apply.

 

What is the maximum allowable income to receive rental assistance?

Median income must be 80% or below the median income of your area. 

List of Colorado counties and the maximum allowable income in those areas.

 

The State program can pay back rent that you owe since April 2020, the current month rent and two months of future rent up to a maximum of 18 months total. The program cannot reimburse you for rent already paid. The program can only pay up to 150% of the fair market rent for your county and the size of apartment or house that you have.

 

What if my tenant moved out and didn't pay rent?

Emergency rental assistance through this program is only available if the tenant is still living at the property.

 

What if my landlord won’t do their part of the application?

The Emergency Rental Assistance program encourages tenants to complete their portion of the application and enter in their landlord’s phone number and email address. Program personnel will contact them and ask them to apply. If they still will not participate you will have documentation that you did your part to receive assistance.

 

What is Application Prioritization?

Applications are prioritized by the following criteria, when this information is available:

  • Households which have received eviction notices and these notices have been provided.
  • Households whose income is at or below 50% Area Median Income (AMI).
  • Households where one or more household members were unemployed for at least 90 days prior to the date of application and adequate documentation has been provided.

Getting Ready

Determine if you are eligible. 

Determine Landlord Eligibility

 

Have you talked to your tenant? Once you do, gather the following:

  • Tenant's name and contact information
  • Tenant lease or other proof they live at your property
  • Tenant rent statement or ledger showing what they owe
  • Completed IRS Form W-9

Landlord Application

 

Landlord FAQs

Can tenants continue to apply for assistance? What is the recertification process?

Yes, tenants are allowed to recertify in their original applications submitted to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program   depending on months previously approved. Tenants are allowed a maximum of 15 months of emergency rental assistance under Emergency Rental Assistance Round 1. Under Emergency Rental Assistance Round 2, tenants will be allowed an additional 3 months for a total of 18 months assistance. 

Please refer the tenant to contact our customer service team at 1-888-480-0066.

 

How does a landlord get paid?

Applications approved by the State for rental assistance will be paid using a third-party payment processing company, BIll.com

Bill.com is a payment software that uses bank-level security, firewalls, and encryption on any sensitive or personal data. For any other concerns you have dealing with bill.com visit their security center.

Bill.com Security Center

 

This payment processor specializes in sending ePayments and checks to the needed destination. It is important to note that the state also partners with non-profit organizations to help with the rental assistance program. If your application is reviewed and processed by one of those partners, the payment will come from that organization. 

Neighborly, the application software used by the State, is the first step in beginning the payment process. Once the application is complete and the state has approved this application, you will receive an email detailing this approval. Soon after, you will also receive an invitation email from Bill.com to set up your account for payment. Please do not go to Bill.com and create your own Bill.com account beforehand. The invitation email from Bill.com will include a unique link to create your account and sign-up for ePayment. This email should not be forwarded or shared with others. 

If a Landlord has multiple properties or has created multiple applications, the Landlord will receive an email from Bill.com for each property or application. Landlords will need to follow the unique link each time to set up their account. If Landlords have only one property and one application, they will only receive one email from Bill.com and will need to only set up one account.

Details on how to create an account on Bill.com.

 

Will all payments come from Bill.com?

The State also partners with non-profit organizations to help with the rental assistance program. If your application is reviewed and processed by one of those partners, the payment will come from that organization. 

 

When should landlords expect payment after receiving a tenant approval letter?

Once an account is established with Bill.com:

  • If a landlord elects to receive a paper check, payment should be received 10-14 business days after verification is complete with Bill.com. 
  • If the landlord elects to receive direct deposit, payment should be received between 5-7 business days after verification is complete with Bill.com. 
  • If no selection is made in Bill.com to receive a direct deposit, a check will automatically be sent after 3 business days. The direct deposit may be set up at any time to receive in the future even if a check is sent for the initial funding. 

 

Is payment sent out in one large lump sum?

Yes. Payment will be sent in one payment for all Bill.com approved in the same timeframe. In Bill.com the “bill” will be broken into two entries for most tenants, one for arrears (past rent) and one for assistance (current and future rent). All bills are identified by the tenant’s Neighborly Case ID to protect personally identifiable information (PII). 

 

Refunding overpayment information? Where should the check be sent back too?

If a landlord received an overpayment, then payment will need to be refunded in the same form received. Landlords should reach out to Maria Stein for instructions for repayment.  Maria can be reached at maria.stein@state.co.us.

 

If a landlord receives an overpayment can they apply to another tenant case or can they apply to move out balance (tenant damages)? 

No, payments are to be applied only to the tenant residing in the unit. The funds are not to cover damages or move out fees. An overpayment refund would need to be sent back to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. 

 

How to read invoices on Bill.com and which tenant does payment belong to? 

The invoice number is listed as L-Tenant Case number. Please reference the tenant section and match the numbers after the L- to the correct tenant in Neighborly. 

 

What do certain statuses mean?

Application in Progress - Applicant has started an application, but has not submitted it for review.

Application Submitted - Application has been completed and submitted to Neighborly. Awaiting a reviewer to be assigned to the case. 

Application Under Review – Reviewer is assigned and is working on the file.

Pending Applicant Information – Case has completed the initial review and is waiting for landlord or tenant to complete a task assignment or make corrections to application. 

Pending Property Ownership Verification – Ownership documentation is needed from the landlord and/or property management company. 

Reviewer Denied – Case was denied based on eligibility; tenant and/or landlord may appeal the decision. 

Hold – Further review required by the team.   

Submitted to QC Review – Application was sent to our Quality Control  (QC) team for final review and draw submission. 

Approved Pending Payment – Tenant Case was approved, awaiting payment to be disbursed. 

Approved Pending Landlord – Waiting on landlord to add the tenant to Section B- Tenant Information, Landlord application has not been approved yet, Property Records/Colorado Secretary of State information does not match Landlord Information Section, or other items needed from the landlord to proceed. 

 

What documents can landlords provide for property ownership? 

Property Ownership Documents

  • Tax forms
  • Deed

 

Why are there duplicate tenant applications on their account?

Only one landlord application is required per property. Program personnel will link all of the tenants to the one landlord application as long as payment should go to the EIN on the landlord application. 

Please make sure to advise tenants to only submit one application to Neighborly. Program personnel are unable to link the cases together or delete from the Neighborly system. 

 

How do I request a check?

Landlords can elect to receive a check through the payment portal (Bill.com) when establishing the landlord account with Bill.com, once a unique link is received by the landlord. If the landlord does not opt in for the ACH option, a check will automatically be sent.

 

What else does Bill.com help with?

Bill.com helps you:

  • Create a landlord account and elect to receive paper check or direct deposit.
  • Find out the payment date and when payment will be received or expected. 
  • See invoice information and reference Neighborly to know who the payment should be applied to. 

 

What should a landlord do when the payment cleared the bank account but they have not gotten the payment? 

Please contact your financial institution. 

 

How do I download and fill out the Colorado W-9 Form (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification)?

 

Common W-9 Questions 
  • A Physical Address needs to be listed on the W-9 form. A PO Box can only stand alone on a W-9 form if the PO Box was used to register with the Colorado Secretary of State. 
  • Landlords who provide an SSN on their W-9 form will need to verify property ownership. 
  • Information provided on the Property Appraisal Website and Colorado Secretary of State Website must be updated and match the information provided on the Landlord Application and W-9 forms. 
  • Guidelines regarding tenant eviction after payment distributed by the Emergency Rental Assistance Program have been received.