Since the beginning of the pandemic, NJAA has been actively lobbying for rental assistance to help tenants who are unable, or have difficulty paying their rent due to COVID-19. Now, we have the first meaningful component of that relief. New Jersey announced the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program Phase II (CVERAP-II) to assist eligible households struggling to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This State program will utilize $350 million in federal stimulus money, along with additional federal money in the coming months. In addition, over $230 million in federal stimulus money was provided to 14 counties and two cities for rental assistance. Some counties will coordinate with the State, while others will have their own stand-alone rental assistance programs.
The following counties received federal rental assistance funds: Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, and Union County.
The following cities received federal rental assistance funds: Jersey City and Newark.
NJAA is committed to providing you with the most up to date information about these programs to help those in need. As we get more information about the state program, as well as the county and municipal programs, this page will be updated. Please feel free to share this page with anyone in need of rental assistance.
To be considered for the program, applicants must first submit an application beginning on Monday, March 22, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. The State has indicated that the portal will be open 24 hours per day. Applications will be accepted until enough have been received to distribute the funding amount. All applications will be entered into a randomized lottery. Applicants selected in the lottery will be notified by email.
To submit an application, please click here.
Who is Eligible
In a nutshell, New Jersey households who:
- Qualify for unemployment or have faced a significant reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19;
- Demonstrate a risk of homelessness or housing instability; and
- Have a household income at or below 80% of area median income (AMI) based upon household size. Please see maximum income limits by clicking here.
Note: Additional information and eligibility requirements can be found here.
What this Assistance will Provide
CVERAP-II will assist with a maximum of 12 months for past-due, unpaid rent, dating back to March 13, 2020. However, if needed and should funds remain, an additional three months to assist with future rent payments may be available. Past-due, unpaid rent will be paid first, with the remainder available for future rent through December 2021.
Rents will be capped at 125% of the area Fair Market Rent (FMR) if a household has a lease agreement. Households relying on the self-certification process will have their rent capped at 100% of the greater of FMR, or the Small Area Fair Market Rent for their area.
Payments will be made directly to the property owner and an award letter will be mailed to both the tenant and their landlord indicating payment.
Applying for Other Rental Assistance
Applicants can apply for other rental assistance, but if awarded, CVERAP-II assistance will cease if the applicant is awarded rental assistance from another source. Households who receive a subsidy from other rental assistance programs such as Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) or Public Housing will not be eligible to receive CVERAP assistance if the assistance results in duplicative benefits for the same months of assistance.
For more information on the CVERAP-II, please visit: https://njdca.onlinepha.com/
CVERAP-II Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): https://njdca.onlinepha.com/en-US/Pages/View/145/Frequently%20Asked%20Questions
For additional questions, please contact: 609-490-4550
County and Municipal Rental Assistance Programs
A number of county and municipal governments have created rental assistance programs to assist tenants that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. NJAA has compiled a list of these programs, by county, below for our members and their residents. The details and eligibility requirements of each program vary. As such, we have provided a brief description, along with a direct link to each program for more information. The list will be updated as more programs and information become available.
The CDBG-CV Short Term Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Grant Program will provide temporary rental and mortgage assistance, for up to six months, to low- and moderate-income households that have had a substantial reduction in income or became unemployed due the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants may be eligible for a grant for a maximum of up to six months of emergency rental or mortgage assistance. The assistance, per month for rental assistance and mortgage assistance, will be capped at DCA’s fair market rent standard or the total of the rent or mortgage payment, whichever is lesser. The maximum amount of assistance available per rental household is $10,000 throughout a period of six months. All participants will be reviewed at the three-month interval to see if they are still in need of assistance. Persons applying must meet all applicable program income and eligibility requirements. Funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis determined by the submission of a full and complete application and all necessary supporting documents. For more information, please click here.
From now through August 31, 2021, Bergen County will be accepting applications from eligible Bergen residents who experienced a financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tenants who have been unable to pay their rent and/or utility payments since March 2020 are encouraged to apply for funding. Eligible residents must be primarily responsible for paying rent, make 80% less than the average median income for Bergen County, and have experienced a loss of income or financial burden since March 2020. Immigration status does not matter. For more information, please click here.
Burlington County recently announced that they will be partnering with the State to provide rental assistance, with $13 million reserved for county residents. As such, all applications should be made directly through the State’s COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program Phase II (CVERAP-II). Burlington County residents will be eligible for both the $13 million in reserved funds, as well as the larger $353 million allocated under the statewide CVERAP-II. For more information, please click here.
The Camden County Board of County Commissioners is launching a new round of support for low income renters at risk of losing their homes or facing an eviction threat due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board is now officially accepting applications from eligible renters facing financial hardship due to the pandemic. In total, the Board expects to award approximately $15 million in assistance, using funds which were designated for the county as part of Congress’ December COVID relief legislation. In order to qualify for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, applications must meet all three of the following conditions:
- Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability (i.e. past due notice, rent notice, or eviction notice).
- Has a household income at or below 80 percent Area Median Income (AMI).
- Preference will be given to households with income below 50 percent AMI.
For more information, please click here.
Starting May 13, 2021, Essex County is opening applications for renters and landlords impacted by the pandemic. Those eligible to apply include individuals or families impacted by COVID-19 through unemployment, decreased household income or those confronted with some other financial hardship. Eligible applicants must be at or below 80% of the area median income set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Applicants will be requested to provide identification for the head of the household, income information for all those in the home who are older than 18, a copy of the lease, information about the landlord and utility payments that are unpaid. Residents who live in public housing or use a Section 8 voucher may be eligible to receive assistance for costs not covered by federal assistance. To access the application, please use Essex County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Portal available here.
City of Newark
Starting July 26, 2021, the City of Newark will be making Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds available for payment towards past-due rent up to 12 months and up to three 3 months of prospective rent, which is considered on a case-by-case basis, if applicable. Landlords do have the availability to pre-register to better facilitate the quick processing of applications. For more information and to apply, click here.
Gloucester County has received funds from the U.S. Department of Treasury to provide rental relief to landlords and tenants through the Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program (ERAP). The program will provide financial assistance for unpaid rent and/or utility bills for low- and moderate-income renter households in Gloucester County that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds provide rental and utility arrears and temporary rental assistance to Gloucester County households that have had a substantial reduction in income, have qualified for unemployment benefits, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due, directly, or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about eligibility and to apply, click here.
The Hudson County CARES II Eviction Prevention Program was established to provide back rent and/or utility assistance for Hudson County residents (with the exception of Jersey City residents, who should seek assistance through the City of Jersey City) who have fallen behind as a result of COVID-19. To qualify for assistance through this program the household must show a need for rental or utility assistance due to COVID-19, be current on rent as of March 1st 2020, and show that one or more household member’s qualified for unemployment or have experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs or experienced other financial hardships due directly or indirectly to COVID-19. Additionally, household income must not exceed 80 percent of area median income (AMI). The application period will be open from February 15, 2021 to April 15, 2021. For more information, please click here.
City of Jersey City
The Jersey City COVID-19 Rent Relief Program is reopening on October 4 and will accept applications through October 18, 2021. The program was initially limited to households living in small owner-occupied properties; however, it is being expanded to include residents of all properties, provided that the resident earns less than 80% of the area median income. Property owners can initiate applications, however, it will require the participation of tenants to complete the application. Rental assistance payments will be capped at $10,000 per resident, and property owners accepting assistance must agree to not raise rents for one year upon signing. To apply, click here.
The Mercer County Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) was created to provide financial assistance toward unpaid rent or utility bills for Mercer County renters that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To qualify, a household must have an individual that qualifies for unemployment, experienced a reduction in income, or incurred significant costs due to COVID-19. Additionally, the household must demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, and have a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median income (AMI). The application period will be open from March 1 through April 5, 2021. For more information, please click here.
Hamilton Township Mortgage and Rental Relief Assistance Program
The Hamilton Township Mortgage and Rental Relief Assistance Program will provide rental, mortgage, or utility assistance to low and moderate income households that have had a substantial reduction in income, or became unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Assistance through the program is capped at $10,000 over a period of six months, and all approved applicants will be reviewed at the three-month mark to see if they are still in need of assistance. Applications will be reviewed in coordination by Hamilton Township and Arm In Arm, a local non-profit agency.
For more information, please click here.
As of May 3, 2021, the Middlesex County Emergency Rental Assistance Program (MCERAP) is live and accepting applications for assistance. Renter households in need of assistance may submit their application and required documentation via the MCERAP online application portal. The MCERAP is funded by a $24.6 million grant from the federal government. Funding will be distributed on a priority basis. For more information, please click here.
Monmouth County has received $18,465,589.40 in direct funding from the United States Department of Treasury under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (“ERAP 1”). This funding will be used to provide rental assistance for eligible households in Monmouth County making less than 80% of area median income in accordance with the federal program guidelines. For more information and to apply, please click here.
Morris County recently announced that they will be partnering with the State to provide rental assistance, with $14.6 million reserved for county residents. As such, all applications should be made directly through the State’s COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program Phase II (CVERAP-II). Morris County residents will be eligible for both the $14.6 million in reserved funds, as well as the larger $353 million allocated under the statewide CVERAP-II. For more information, please click here.
The Social Services for the Homeless (SSH) Grant through the Ocean County Board of Social Services may be able to assist county residents with back rent, back-mortgage, back utilities, security deposit, first month rent, and temporary shelter (on a short-term basis). SSH can be utilized for individuals, families and adult couples. The agency has a separate Emergency Assistance program for clients receiving GA/TANF/SSI but this is a non-public assistance grant. Therefore, all persons over the age of 18 in the household must have a source of income (not GA/TANF/SSI) and have future affordability. Examples of income include wages, unemployment, child support, and SSD. The client will also need to have a verifiable emergency as to the reason they are behind and need assistance. Rental must be within Fair Market rent (Rent + Utility Averages): 1 bedroom: $1,291 / 2 bedrooms: $1,652 / 3 bedrooms: $2,277. For more information, please call 732-349-1500.
Through its Impact Passaic collaboration, Passaic County has launched its Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Eligible applicants must have experienced a financial impact due to COVID-19 on or after March 13, 2020; will be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI); and will need to provide a utility or similar bill to prove residency. Eligible tenants must also provide their landlord’s name and contact information as the landlord will be contacted by a representative from Passaic County to collect further information. For more information and to apply, click here.
Somerset County has established an Emergency Rental Relief Program for County households that had a loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants may be eligible for up to 3 months’ rent or $3,000.00, whichever is less, for payment toward rent that is owed. The Program will only pay rent that is owed and will NOT pay late fees. Payments will be issued directly to the landlord. Note that this program is funded by the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and as a result, residents of Franklin Township, which has its own CDBG program, are not eligible. Funds are limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis; submitting an application does not guarantee financial assistance will be provided. For more information, please click here.
Union County has partnered with the Urban League of Union County to establish the Emergency Rental Relief Program for Union County. Residents that experienced a lost of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and were not able to pay rent. Applicants will be eligible for up to 6 months of owed rent. Please click here for more information and to apply.