An official website of the City of Miami
Emergency Rental Assistance Program

FAQs

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR COVID-19 EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (ERAP)

 

1.   WHAT IS THE COVID-19 EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM?

The City of Miami COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program is a rental assistance program designed to provide relief to low- and moderate-income households residing in the City of Miami that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

2.   WHO CAN APPLY FOR THE COVID-19 EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM?

Households who live in the City of Miami who:

  • Qualify for unemployment or have experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due, directly, or indirectly to COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
  • Have a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median. Based on household size.

3.   HOW DO I APPLY FOR THE COVID-19 ERAP?

The City of Miami will consider applications on a first come, first served basis by date and time with priority given to households meeting the City of Miami’s designated priorities. Go to miami.onlinepha.com during the 30-day open enrollment period and follow the instructions on the home page to submit an application.  Applicants may also pick up and submit paper applications at designated locations. 

4.    HOW DOES PRIORITIZATION OF ASSISTANCE WORK?

The City of Miami’s prioritize applications by any of the following three factors:

  • The income of the household does not exceed fifty (50) percent of the AMI for the household.
  • One (1) or more individuals within the household are unemployed as of the date of the    application for assistance and have not been employed for the ninety-day period preceding such date.
  • Households that have received a 3-day eviction notice.

5.   WHEN CAN I SUBMIT AN APPLICATION FOR COVID-19 ERAP ASSISTANCE?

The open enrollment period for accepting applications opens on Monday, March 29th, 2021 at 9:00 am. Applications will be accepted for a period of 30 days. The City of Miami will consider reopening the application process at a later date subject to funding availability.

The City is reopening for applications again on Monday, July 12, 9:00 am.

6.   WHAT ARE THE HOURS THAT THE WEBSITE WILL ACCEPT COVID-19 ERAP APPLICATIONS?

Miami.onlinepha.com will accept applications 24 hours a day beginning on Monday, July 12th, 2021 at 9:00 am.

The City of Miami has designated the following sites for pick up of paper applications:

District 1 Office of Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla

Curtis Park
1901 NW 24
th Ave

Miami, FL 33125
Phone number: 305-250-5430

District 1 Office of Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla

Antonio Maceo Park

5135 NW 7th St.
Miami, FL 33126

Phone number:  305-960-2890

District 1 Office of Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla

Allapattah 
1897 NW 20th St.
Miami, FL 33142

Phone number: 305-960-5128
District 2 Downtown/Brickell Service Center

444 SW 2 Ave., 10th Floor
Miami, FL 33130

Phone number: 305-416-1744

District 2 Office

Coconut Grove Service Center
at Elizabeth Virrick Park

3255 Plaza Street
Miami, FL 33133

Phone number: 305-960-4670

District 3 Office of Commissioner Joe Carollo

1300 SW 12 Ave.
Miami, FL 33129

Phone: 305-960-4650

District 4 Office

Coral Way at Coral Gate Park

415 SW 32nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33135

Phone number: 305-960-5131

District 4 Office

Flagami
6030 SW 2 St.
Miami, FL 33144

Phone number: 305-250-5420

Dis. 5 Upper Eastside Neighborhood Service Center

Legion Park
6599 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33138

Phone number: 305-960-5118

District 5 Office

Model City Service Center

1000 NW 62nd Street
Miami, Florida 33150

Phone number: 305-960-2990

District 5 Office

Overtown Neighborhood Service Center

1490 NW Avenue, 112-B
Miami, Florida 33136

Phone number: 305-960-5133

District 5 Office

Little Haiti Neighborhood Service Ctr. (Authur Teele Community Ctr.)

6301 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami, Florida 33138

Phone number: 305-960-4660

Dis. 5 Wynwood/Edgewater Neighborhood Service Ctr.

Roberto Clemente Park 
101 NW 34 St.
Miami, FL 33127

Phone number: 305-960-2904



All completed application packages must be submitted, accompanied by the necessary required documents.

Via U.S. Postal Mail:

City of Miami

Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program

P.O. Box # 013581

Miami, FL 33101

Drop-off Location:

City of Miami

Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program

14 NE 1st Avenue,1st Floor Lobby (Drop box)

Miami, FL 33132

Drop off location hours: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
   

7.   EXACTLY HOW LONG WILL THE COVID-19 ERAP ASSIST WITH RENTAL ASSISTANCE?

Assistance shall be provided for a period not to exceed 12 months with the possibility of prospective aid for an additional 3 months, only if necessary, to ensure housing stability for a household. Prospective aid is subject to the availability of funds.

8.    HOW MUCH ASSISTANCE IS AVAILABLE?

The City of Miami will pay a maximum of $24,000 in assistance to any eligible household, to cover a maximum of twelve (12) months of rent arrearage, utility arrearage, and eligible relocation costs, up to $2,000 per month, and, if applicable and sufficient funds are available, an additional three (3) months of assistance to ensure housing stability. The applicant’s arrears (retrospective to March 2020) will be paid first, with the remainder available for future rent (through December 2021).

9.   CAN I APPLY FOR, OR RECEIVE OTHER RENTAL ASSISTANCE WHILE BEING ASSISTED BY THE COVID-19 ERAP?

Yes. Households who receive subsidy from other rental assistance programs such as Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) or Public Housing will not be eligible to receive ERAP assistance if the assistance results in duplicative benefits.

10.  WHAT DOCUMENTATION IS REQUIRED WHEN I SUBMIT MY APPLICATION?

        The following documentation is required at the time of submitting your application.

        Identity Verification (at least one of the following documents for all household members)


    • Driver’s License
    • State Issued ID
    • Birth Certificate
    • Passport
    • Tribal CDIB Card
    • Veteran Identification


Reduction in household income (Section II.A.1)is defined as a loss of wages or compensation. The City of Miami will accept the following documents as form of verification in reduction of household income since 3/13/20:


  • Letter from employer stating reduced wages, termination, or furlough.
  • Layoff letter from employer
  • Unemployment letter dated from 3/13/2020 to current.
  • Print out from Unemployment on benefits received in the last 30 days
  • Notice of business closure on employer website
  • Letter from healthcare provider or employer noting a COVID-related inability to work
  • Letter from workforce solutions
  • If none of the above is available, a self-certification form may be acceptable
  • The City of Miami will require that families provide documentation for all household’s members at least eighteen (18) years of age at the time of application


Income Verification (at least one of the following documents for all household members)

Annual Income


  • 2020 Tax Return (1040, 1040EZ, etc.)
  • 2020 W2 from Employer
  • 2020 1099 Tax Form
  • Other evidence of annual Income (e.g., wage statement, interest statement, unemployment compensation statement)


Monthly Income


  • One (1) pay stub, at minimum, for wages dated within the last sixty days, demonstrating a full months’ worth of consecutive pay
  • Social Security benefit letter dated within the last 12 months
  • Unemployment benefits letter dated with the last 60 days (about 2 months)
  • Child Support Payment Report from the Florida Department of Health and Human Services
  • Letter dated within the last sixty (60) days confirming child support payments made outside of the Florida Department of Revenue
  • In the case that both annual and monthly income documentation is provided, the City of Miami will use the lower of the two for determining program eligibility. When determining annual income, federal pandemic insurance payments are excluded.


Zero Income


  • Zero-income affidavit form needs to be completed.


 

Proof of Rent Arrears (if applying for arrearages)


  • Lease and Past Due Notice
  • Notice of rent arrears issued by the rental property owner
  • Eviction Notice
  • Summary process summons and complaint identity the applicant(s) as the Defendant(s)/Tenant(s)/Occupant(s), which sets forth a hearing date within thirty (30) days


*Documentation must include the months in which the rent arrearages are being incurred.

Proof of Utility Arrears (if applying for arrearages)


  • Past Due utility bills/statements-must have account number (utilities that can be reimbursed: water, light, propane, and internet)
  • Any applicable documentation from the utility company
  • Documentation must include the months in which the utility arrearages occurred
  • Documentation that is not in the name of the lease holder must be accompanied with proof of occupancy to the unit
  • If the bill is not in the name of the leaseholder, additional documentation is required to show that the person on the bill is an occupant of the unit


Proof of relocation Cost (if applying for relocation expenses reimbursement)


  • Provide invoices, bills, statements of incurred expenses.


Evidence of Financial Hardship, such as a reduction in income or incurring significant costs, either directly or indirectly due to the COVID 19 outbreak (only one document per household needed)

Reduction of Income:


  • Letter from employer stating reduced wages, termination, or furlough.
  • Layoff letter from employer
  • Unemployment letter dated from 3/13/2020 to current.
  • Print out from Unemployment on benefits received in the last 30 days.
  • Notice of business closure on employer website.
  • Letter from healthcare provider or employer noting a COVID-related inability to work.
  • Letter from workforce solutions
  • Reduction of income due to family member who passed away due to COVID-19.
  • Other applicable documentation verifying reduction in income.
  • If none of the above available, a self-certification form may be acceptable.


Evidence of Significant Costs/Expenses (if applicable). The City of Miami will accept the following documents as form of verification of significant COVID-related costs since 3/13/2020:


  • Healthcare costs, including care at home for individuals with COVID-19
  • Adverse healthcare impact/Increased healthcare costs (medical bills, receipts, etc.)
  • Expenses incurred due quarantining or social distancing as mandated by employer (computer equipment, internet expenses, etc.)
  • Expenses for childcare due to school closures because of COVID-19
  • Remote learning expenses due to COVID-19
  • Purchase of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
  • Penalties, fees, and legal costs associated with rental or utility arrears
  • Payments for rent or utilities made by credit card to avoid homelessness or housing instability
  • Alternative transportation for households unable to use public transportation during the pandemic
  • If none of the above are available, self-certification form
*These costs may be verified with receipts, payment statements, bank or credit card statements, or other documentation.


Evidence of Risk of Homelessness (only one document per household needed)


  • Eviction notice
  • A past due utility or rent notice (late notice or 5-day notice to pay/quit)
  • Living in unsafe or unhealthy living conditions, such as conditions that increase the risk of exposure to COVID-19 because of overcrowding
  • A housing cost burden that makes it difficult for renters to afford their housing costs
  • Informal rental arrangements with little or no legal protection
  • History of or potential for exposure to intimate partner violence, sexual assault, or stalking
  • Evidence the household is forgoing or delaying the purchase of essential goods or services to pay rent or utilities, such as food, prescription drugs, childcare, transportation, or equipment needed for remote work or school in order to pay rent or utilities
  • Documented harassment or threats of eviction by a property owner/landlord
  • Evidence the household is relying on credit cards, payday lenders, or other high-cost debt products, or depleting savings, to pay for rent or utilities, rather than wages or other income


Owner Documentation


  • Name, address, social security number, tax identification number or social security number, as applicable, for property owner
  • Completed W-9 tax form for owner or property manager
  • Property Management Agreement, Brokers Agreement that authorizes payments to be distributed to property manager on behalf of owner
  • Proof of ownership (deed, most recent real estate tax bill, or current property insurance policy). The agency may also verify property ownership with a local municipal Assessor’s Office or with the Registry of Deeds. If this option is used, the agency must maintain a printed copy of such verification in the applicant file.


11.      DO I NEED TO HAVE LEGAL IMMIGRATION STATUS TO BE ELIGIBLE TO RECCEIVE ASSISTANCE?

No. Households do not need to have a legal immigration status to qualify for the program.

12.    IF MY APPLICATION IS SELECTED, DO I AUTOMATICALLY QUALIFY FOR ASSISTANCE?

No, The City of Miami needs to review all your documentation that you submit to determine your eligibility.

13.    CAN I USE MY SMART PHONE, IPHONE, ANDROID TABLET OR OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICE WHICH HAS AN INERNET CONNECTION TO MAKE AN APPLICATION?

Yes, if you can navigate to the website miami.onlinepha.com and enter all the information from your device, you can use it.

14.    CAN I MAKE CORRECTIONS TO MY APPLICATION DURING THE APPLICATION PERIOD?

No.

15.   DO I HAVE TO ENTER NAMES AND INCOME ON MY COVID-19 ERAP APPLICATION?

Yes.  You must answer all the questions and complete all the required fields in the application.  Your application must list all the members of your household and all your household’s income including, but not limited to:  Social Security Retirement, Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), pensions, child support, alimony, unemployment, temporary disability, wages, self-employment earning, etc.

16. CAN I PRINT MY COVID-19 ERAP APPLICATION?

Yes, you can print the application before submitting it. The City of Miami will extend reasonable accommodations to disabled individuals, and person(s) who have limited English proficiency on a case-by-case basis and will take into consideration the disability and the need(s) of the individual(s) or those households without internet access.

17.  I DON’T HAVE INTERNET ACCESS AT HOME WHERE CAN I GO TO COMPLETE MY COVID-19 ERAP PRE-APPLICATION?

Please call 305-330-1508 for assistance.

18.  IF I HAVE QUESTIONS, WHO SHOULD I CONTACT?

Please call 305-330-1508 for assistance.

19.  I WAS ON THE WEBSITE AND STARTED TO COMPLETE MY ERAP APPLICATION.  I LOST THE INTERNET CONNECTION IN THE MIDDLE.  HOW DO I GET BACK?

If you did not receive a confirmation receipt, you will need to start your application again from the beginning.

20.  THE WEBSITE IS UNAVAILABLE AND I CANNOT ENTER MY ERAP APPLICATION.  WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Please re-try after a few minutes.

21.  CAN SOMEONE ELSE SIGN UP FOR ME?

Yes, you can have a friend, family member or provider assist you in completing the application, but you must certify that all the information being provided (dates of birth, income, etc.) is true and sign electronically.

You will need to include the name, phone number and email of the person who assisted you on the application.

22.  IF MY CHILDREN LIVE WITH ME AND THEY ARE 18 YEARS OLD OR OLDER DO I HAVE TO INCLUDE THEIR INCOME?

Yes, all adult household members’ income needs to be entered into the application.

23.  HOW DO I REQUEST A REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION DUE TO A DISABILITY?

If you are disabled and need help applying for an assistance, the City of Miami will extend reasonable accommodations on a case-by-case basis and will take into consideration the disability and the need(s) of the individual(s). Please contact Customer Service number at 305-330-1508, for reasonable accommodations, including persons with limited English proficiency.

24.  I DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH OR DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH WELL ENOUGH TO COMPLETE THE ERAP    APPLICATION.  CAN I GET AN APPLICATION IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE?

Yes, the application is available in multiple languages. 

25.  HOW SOON WILL I RECEIVE MY ASSISTANCE?

We are unable to provide an estimated timeframe for payment should your application be selected      and approved.

26. WILL THE HOUSING ASSISTANCE GO DIRECTLY TO ME?

The City of Miami will make direct payments to participating vendors (property owners, managers, etc.) on behalf of the program participant with the exception of reimbursement of relocation expenses which will be paid directly to the participant applicant.

27.  CAN ERAP FUNDS BE USED TO PAY FOR SECURITY DEPOSITS OR OTHER FEES

No. Funds may not be used for pay for accrued late fees or security deposit.


28.  WHERE CAN WE FIND FREE LEGAL ASSISTANCE?


Contact Information 

Apply for Services  


Online: 

Click here to apply 

Website:  

www.legalservicesmiami.org 


Over the Phone: 

Miami-Dade: (305)576-0080 

Text- Telephone: (305) 446-7570 



Monday and Wednesday: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm 

Tuesday and Thursday: 1:30pm to 4:30 pm 




Landlord Questions

1.       CAN I APPLY ON BEHALF OF MY TENANT?

Yes. If a property manager or owner of a residential dwelling applies for assistance, the following is required:


  • The landlord to submit a landlord referral form
  • Any payments received by the landlord from a payment made under this section will be used to satisfy the tenant’s rental obligation to the owner


2.       HOW WILL LANDLORDS KNOW IF ONE OF THEIR TENANTS WILL RECEIVE ASSISTANCE THROUGH ERAP?

You will receive an email stating your tenant was approved for assistance, along with the estimated amount of the subsidy.

3.       WHAT PROOF DO I NEED TO SHOW THAT I AM A LANDLORD?

You will need to provide proof of ownership (deed, most recent tax bill, or current insurance policy) to verify that you are the legal owner of the subject property. You will receive a Landlord/Owner packet that includes the following documents:


  • Landlord Certification Form
  • Direct Deposit Authorization form
  • W9 IRS form


4.       AS A LANDLORD, HOW DO I RECEIVE MY ERAP PAYMENTS?

The preferred method for disbursing payment is through direct deposit. In the event that this is not an option you will receive your payments by check.

5.       IF A TENANT MOVES BEFORE THE APPROVED SUBSIDY, DO I HAVE TO PAY BACK THE ERAP PAYMENTS?

Yes, if you received a payment for rent assistance and the tenant moves, that subsidy should be returned. In addition, if a landlord attempts to collect rent, utilities or other amounts that have been paid by the ERAP from the tenant or another third party, the landlord will be required to repay the ERAP funds within a set period of time. Attempts to collect include but are not limited to filing a forcible entry and detainer action against the tenant alleging non-payment of rent, utilities, or fees that have been paid by the ERAP.

6.       IF I HAVE TO RETURN THE ERAP PAYMENT, WHERE WOULD I SEND THE CHECK TO?

CITY OF MIAMI

Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program

P.O. BOX # 013581

MIAMI, FL 33101

7.       WHAT DOCUMENTS WOULD I NEED TO PROVIDE TO PROVE THAT THE TENANT IS MY TENANT?


  • Signed lease, tenant agreement or landlord certification
  • Documentation of residence, including utility bills, attestation by a property owner who can be identified as the verified owner or management agent of the unit
  • Other reasonable documentation


8.       ARE UTILITY ARREARAGES ELIGIBLE EXPENSES UNDER THE ERAP?

Yes. Utility (water, light, propane, internet) arrearage and home energy costs are eligible for assistance.

9.       HOW MUCH SUBSIDY SHOULD I EXPECT TO RECEIVE?

The City of Miami will pay the full amount of household arrearages, for a maximum of 12 months’, to the extent that funds are available. A determination will be made if further assistance is needed to ensure housing stability for an additional three months of assistance. The applicant’s arrears (retrospective to March 13, 2020) will be paid first, with the remainder available for future rent (through December 2021). Rent will be capped at 125% of the area Fair Market Rent.

10.   DO I HAVE TO ACCEPT THE SUBSIDY?

Yes, if you desire payment from ERAP that includes an agreement with City of Miami to accept the subsidy.

Need Help?

You can contact our Client Call Center at 305-330-1508 or by email to miami.onlinepha@nanmckay.com.