Guam emergency rental assistance program expands support

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The Department of Administration (DOA) has announced additional financial support and
services available to tenants and landlords through the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program.

The resources from the ERA Program that was established in April 2021 have been expanded to provide broader rental and utility assistance, easier access, and promote housing stability throughout the island.

Beginning September 6, 2021, the ERA Program will launch Cycle 3 which will include coverage of internet costs for qualifying households. Internet connectivity is a vital service that allows renters and their families to engage in distance learning, telework, telemedicine, and obtain essential government services.

Other services offered in ERA’s Cycle 3 will be utility rapid payment with utility providers, application online webforms and submission, and expansion with outreach/marketing efforts to include on-site application submission. These additional services and financial support are aligned with the recently updated guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

“The Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration has advocated for a national rental assistance program, and this program brings relief to the many families in Guam who have been affected by COVID-19. These funds will ensure Guam residents are able to have a home and receive essential services,” said Edward Birn, DOA Director. “Many of the residents who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 still need help with rent and utilities. We encourage those who may be eligible for assistance to apply for the program.”

To date, the ERA program has provided $4 million to nearly 800 households and is working to distribute available funds to more eligible households.

Eligible applicants include Guam residents who meet the following criteria:

• One or more individuals within the household has qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic;
• One or more individuals within the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
• A household income at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI)

“We are approaching the end of the federal moratorium for rental evictions on October 3, and it is more critical than ever that households in need are aware of this assistance. We are determined to get assistance out to eligible households as quickly as possible with our community partners,” said DOA Deputy Director Bernadine Gines.

The island received over $30 million in the first round of Emergency Rental Assistance Funds. The effort is funded by the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program through the U.S. Department of Treasury and administered by DOA.

For more information, please contact the Emergency Rental Assistance Program office at 638-4518/9 or visit their website at www.doa.guam.gov .

(DOA Release)

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