Housing/Rental/Utility Assistance

Housing, Rental, Utility Assistance in Georgia’s Thirteenth District:

*Note: Due to population size, Fayette County and Douglas County will receive rental assistance through the Georgia Department of Community Affair's State of Georgia Program.

Similarly, all Thirteenth District residents are encourage to learn more about the Department of Community Affairs Rental Assistance Program (more information on DCA mortgage assistance forthcoming: register for updates HERE).

Frequently Asked Questions:
  • The Act provides that ERA funds may be used for “other expenses related to housing incurred due, directly or indirectly, to” the COVID-19 outbreak, as defined by the Secretary. What are some examples of these “other expenses”? Treasury expects that in general, rental and utility assistance can be provided most effectively and efficiently when the landlord or utility provider participates in the program. As required by the Act, grantees must make reasonable efforts to obtain the cooperation of landlords and utility providers to accept payments from the ERA program. Outreach will be considered complete if (i) a request for participation is sent in writing, by mail, to the landlord or utility provider, and the addressee does not respond to the request within 14 calendar days after mailing; (ii) the grantee has made at least three attempts by phone, text, or e-mail over a 10 calendar-day period to request the landlord or utility provider’s participation; or (iii) a landlord confirms in writing that the landlord does not wish to participate. The final outreach attempt or notice to the landlord must be documented. The cost of contacting landlords would be an eligible administrative cost.
  • Is there a requirement that the eligible household have been in its current rental home when the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19 was declared? No. Payments under ERA are provided to help households meet housing costs that they are unable to meet as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no requirement regarding the length of tenure in the current unit.
  • The Act limits eligibility to households with income that does not exceed 80 percent of the median income for the area in which the household is located, as determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), but does not provide a definition of household income. How is household income defined for purposes of the ERA program? How will income be documented and verified?  Definition of Income: With respect to each household applying for assistance, grantees may choose between using HUD’s definition of “annual income” in 24 CFR 5.6092 and using adjusted gross income as defined for purposes of reporting under Internal Revenue Service Form 1040 series for individual federal annual income tax purposes. Methods for Income Determination: The Act provides that grantees may determine income eligibility based on either (i) the household’s total income for calendar year 2020, or (ii) sufficient confirmation of the household’s monthly income at the time of application, as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury (Secretary).