Looking for rental assistance?

Renters and landlords can find out what emergency rental assistance covers, how it works, and who’s eligible on the interagency housing portal hosted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Example flow for ERA program online applications

Treasury is providing an example application flow, which may be viewed in conjunction with the example screens, to help grantees with implementing ERA program online applications.

This example flow can be used by program administrators and staff or vendors in building or modifying ERA applications. It lays out the order of each applicant-facing screen in an easy to comprehend and logical order. The flow includes only the minimum number of fields needed to reduce the burden of applying for assistance.

Eligibility screener

A screener can be placed before account creation to lower any barriers to finding out eligibility. It saves the applicant time spent reading documentation to understand if they are eligible.

A screener can provide further value when it can be used as an intermediate document that applicants can use to prove to landlords that they qualify for and will be receiving assistance.

  1. Location

    1. Residence location
    2. Jurisdiction verification
  2. Need

    1. Applicant type (landlord or tenant)
    2. Assistance needed (rent, utilities, both)
  3. Income

    1. Number of people in household
    2. Annual income
  4. COVID-19 hardship

    1. COVID-19 effect on income
    2. COVID-19 effect on expenses
  5. Housing instability

  6. Review

    1. Results
    2. Link to apply

Account creation

  1. Sign up

  2. Confirmation

Full application

Since applicants have an account, they should be able to save and exit at any point in the process. When they return to the application, they should be able to start where they left off.

One recommendation that will improve the applicant’s experience is to transfer information provided in the screener to the full application so the applicant does not have to fill out the same fields again.

Another recommended practice is to allow for self-attestation as outlined by Treasury guidance, as well as incorporate categorical eligibility and fact-specific proxies when applicable.

  1. Location and contact information

    1. Applicant information
      1. Name
      2. Street address, city, ZIP code
      3. Phone number
      4. Email address
      5. Preferred contact method
      6. Preferred language
    2. Landlord information
      1. Landlord name
      2. Landlord phone number
      3. Landlord email address
  2. Need

    1. Housing instability
      1. Notice of past due rent, past due utility, or eviction (yes/no)
      2. Upload notice
      3. Eviction notice (yes/no)
        1. If yes, include court date
      4. Housing risks (select from list provided)
      5. Self-attestation
    2. Request for rent assistance
      1. Prior request(s) for rental assistance (yes/no)
      2. Confirm request for rental assistance
      3. Monthly rent amount
      4. Overlapping governmental assistance (yes/no)
        1. If yes, provide amount received
      5. Section 8 or public housing (yes/no)
      6. Month(s) for rental arrears requested
      7. Total amount of rental arrears
      8. Fees owed
      9. Future months of rental assistance requested
      10. Total future rent requested
      11. Self-attestation
    3. Documentation of residence and monthly rent
      1. Copy of lease or written documentation of rental agreement (yes/no)
      2. Utility bill with name and rental address (yes/no)
      3. Documents that show past rent payments (yes/no)
      4. Upload documentation
      5. Self-attestation
    4. Utilities request for assistance
      1. Utilities in need of assistance (select from list provided)
      2. Utility provider for each utility
      3. If reported to have received other assistance, amount received
      4. Month(s) for which utility arrears are requested
      5. Total amount of utility arrears
      6. If applicable, include date of shut off notice
      7. Upload documentation
  3. Income and financial impact

    1. Household income
      1. Number of people in household, including applicant
      2. Monthly household income
      3. Categorical eligibility (through past qualification of other public benefits)
      4. Upload documentation
      5. Self-attestation
    2. COVID-19 pandemic impact
      1. COVID-19 effect on household income or assets (select from list provided)
      2. Additional expenses due to COVID-19
      3. Self-attestation
  4. Payment information

    1. Check or electronic payment preference
  5. Demographic information

    1. Race
    2. Gender
    3. Ethnicity
    4. Age or date of birth
  6. Review

    1. Review application
    2. Upload any additional documents
    3. Submit application