3,800 ERA applicants deemed eligible as of Apr. 14

As of April 14, 2022, about 3,300 ERA applicants have received assistance, according to ERA Program Manager Viki Lindlau.

In the past month, 23 relocations for homeless individuals and families occurred and 62 displacements have also been reported, according to Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program Manager Viki Lindlau.

The island continues to sustain an increasing number of homeless families and individuals. The struggle remains in keeping up with rental, mortgage, and utility payments, and for others, finding a place to live.

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As of today’s report by Lindlau, 6,300 ERA applications have been filed. Of those applications, almost 3,800 have been deemed eligible, and so far, the Department of Administration has been able to assist 3,300 people.

According to her, finding places to relocate individuals and families to is a challenge, especially in regard to places that are available to be occupied. Lindlau says, “But it’s getting slim pickings out there with what’s available for tenants.”

Meanwhile, those in-between housing situations can be brought to alternative, temporary housing for the purpose of moving them into Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority (GHURA) or Guam Housing.

Stephanie Flores, Guam State ClearingHouse Administrator, points out, “That is something sorely needed… is a place for some of our homeless to just have a place to sleep at night, shower, and do those types of things, and go out there during the day.”

With as much federal money Guam receives to support homeless and low-income assistance programs, how much financial aid each applicant receives and how quickly they use it has been identified as an issue.

Department of Administration’s Audrey Topasna shared that out of the 450 homeowners that have received relief assistance, 27 have already utilized all of the $15,000 allotted to them.

The question of, “should there be more funds available for relief to be distributed,” was brought to their attention, to which they would have to confer with the U.S. Treasury. Topasna says that might be the case, adding, “We’re now seeing this trend of homeowners that are needing more than $15,000. $15,000 really… we were looking at providing up to a year of assistance. I think it can be realistic to request an additional. We would probably just need more than just 27 to show that need.”

Other efforts are being done to assist the homeless and low-income population with outreaches led by the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness to address the population’s mental health issues and substance abuse problems.

For more information on several relief programs such as the Homeowners Assistance Fund program or Prugramman Salappe, visit doa.guam.gov to see if you qualify for these relief assistance funds.