DOA: First batch of emergency rental assistance program payments processed

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The ERA program provides renters impacted by COVID-19 with rent, rental arrears, utilities, and utility arrears assistance for up to 15 months. (PNC photo)

The Department of Administration (DOA) Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program this week processed the first batch of payments totaling $122,186 for 25 ERA applicants of rental arrears and utilities, and transmitted another $183,176 to 33 qualified applicants.

All financial assistance payments are made directly to landlords and utility agencies.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury awarded $33.6 million to the Government of Guam to assist Guam’s rental households. The newly established program began accepting pre-tenant applications on March 03, 2021 and received 2,600 applications during the first cycle from March 3 to 26, 2021.

The ERA program provides renters impacted by COVID-19 with rent, rental arrears, utilities, and utility arrears assistance for up to 15 months. The grant will not cover rent, rent arrears, utilities, or utility arrears prior to March 13, 2020. Applicants must meet the program’s eligibility criteria.

To date, 1,900 applications out of the 2,600 have been reviewed with 1,182 deemed pre-eligible, 623 ineligible and 95 incomplete. Letters of tenant pre-eligibility have been sent and ineligible applicants are currently being notified. Those who were deemed ineligible have 20 days to appeal their case with the program.

The ERA team continues to work to respond to numerous follow-ups and reviews of pending applications to expeditiously provide eligibility status and final dispositions for financial assistance.

The ERA Program will begin the 2nd cycle of applications on May 3 to 21, 2021 and encourages those who have not applied to do so. On May 3, 2021, the pre-application forms will be again available for download on the Department of Administration website (www.DOA.guam.gov).

Hard copies of the pre-application forms will be available at the village mayors’ offices or at the ERA office Ste. 219, 2nd floor of the ITC building.

Landlords are also encouraged to work with tenants who are in arrears to complete and submit the pre-application. Otherwise, landlord applications are also available for them to apply on behalf of their tenant.

“Since the beginning of this pandemic, I, along with governors throughout the nation, have advocated for a national rental assistance program. We hope this program will bring relief to the hundreds of families on Guam who have been affected by COVID-19,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero.

“As we continue to battle this pandemic, our people should not have to worry when they can pay their rent. While this program is limited, we will continue to push the federal government to increase direct relief to the states and territories so we can protect our people from the harsh economic impact of this virus,” the governor added.

For any questions regarding the ERA program, please email era@doa.guam.gov or call 638-4518/4519 from Monday to Friday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

(Department of Administration Release)

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