NJ Top In The Nation Among State-Administered ERAP Programs

By: Katie Francis, Follow South Jersey News Reporting Intern

Photo credit: nj.gov

TRENTON, N.J. — Although many forms of federal monetary assistance have expired in New Jersey, the state reached a new milestone last week in the form of federal pandemic funds. Over $300 million has been distributed to residents through the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (CVERAP).

Last Thursday, the state’s Department of Community Affairs (DCA) announced that $302 million has been given to over 33,000 New Jersey households. These funds, from the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program, are funded by the DCA’s Division of Housing and Community Resources. The $302 million is in addition to the $91.75 million granted to 15,000 households last year during the first phase of the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

A little over a month ago, large portions of COVID-19 pandemic relief were cut off for residents of the Garden State. This includes Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PUEC), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). While these funds may have ended on August 30, renters are still able to apply for assistance through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

According to a press release from the New Jersey DCA, the state is actively advertising the program by reaching out to potential candidates through “door-to-door canvassing in low-income areas” and attending vaccine outreach events to promote the emergency rental assistance.

While a great way for tenants to find financial stability, CVERAP seems to be favored by landlords as well. The press release explains that landlords can apply for assistance on behalf of their tenants and gave an example of a landlord who informed his tenant about the program.

Another example being Derek Jones, a landlord with property in Glassboro, Gloucester County. Jones explained the importance behind the federal assistance from his professional perspective. “Being able to find assistance if you’re not able to get back on your feet financially due to lost income is important. This gives people who rent the opportunity to find regular employment while still being able to meet renting deadlines,” he said.

Tenants who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic are encouraged to apply to the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (CVERAP) and the Eviction Prevention Program (EPP). They are also encouraged to apply for the Eviction Prevention Program (EPP), which is offering up to $500 million in assistance and prioritizes future rent. The CVERAP is mainly for residents that need help with overdue payments.

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