NEWCAP BLOGFeb 18, 2021
Comments Off on Emergency Rental Assistance (WERA) Programs
Emergency Rental Assistance (WERA) Programs
Brown County Emergency Rental Assistance Program:
Brown County was awarded federal ERA funds in 2021 and 2022 to help county residents who were financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic retain their rental housing and utilities. To date, Brown County has partnered with Newcap to support more than 6,000 individuals in nearly 3,000 county households to remain safely housed while helping them find employment opportunities as well as childcare, transportation, and other resources.
As local employment opportunities return to pre-pandemic levels, Brown County’s COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program will not accept new applications after June 30, 2022. Instead, Brown County’s COVID-19 ERA Program will focus efforts on helping current participants find employment and other resources to become more financially stable as the ERA Program begins to phase out.
Brown County, and its contractor Newcap, will also adjust the level of financial assistance provided to current ERA Program participants while the county awaits additional federal funding to sustain the program until its conclusion. Starting June 30, 2022, program participants will receive rental and utility assistance payments monthly instead of three months at a time. All payments will be prioritized by those at imminent risk of eviction as well as those behind in rent and utility payments.
We are no longer taking applications for the Brown County Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program:
- As announced by the Governor of the State of Wisconsin on January 20, 2023, new initial applications for the WERA (Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance program) will be accepted online at our website, or via email, ONLY until 11:59 pm on Tuesday, January 31, 2023. In person receipt of applications will be accepted at our offices until Tuesday, January 31, 2023, but, other than our Interim Housing facilities, all Newcap administrative offices will be closed on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, for a long-previously scheduled all-staff training. DO NOT wait to complete intake and do the initial application.
- This announcement impacts ONLY residents of Florence, Forest, Langlade, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Oneida, Shawano and Vilas Counties. Brown County is a separate Emergency Rental Assistance program.
- Applications will have to be completed with all required documentation and signatures within 30 days of initial intake (or by February 28th, 2023 whichever is shorter), or the application will be withdrawn and a new application will not be accepted after the close of applications date of January 31, 2023.
- Completing a new or updated application for energy assistance dated since October 1, 2022, is a requirement of this program. This is a requirement of the program regardless of if you are requesting utility payment assistance or even do not qualify for energy assistance. Do NOT wait to complete that application as it will prevent your application from being fully completed. https://energybenefit.wi.gov/OnlineApps/OnlineApp/Default#
- Applications will be processed for payment on a first fully–completed, first–processed basis with priority for those households facing *imminent* eviction (a 5 day notice is NOT imminent eviction). This includes recertification applications.
- We will only be paying arrears and one month forward at a time, due to low remaining funds in the state pool. This includes recertification applications.
- As we have been communicating for many months, there is NO guarantee of payment on any application, complete or otherwise; previously funded or otherwise, due to low remaining funds in the state pool. This includes recertification applications.
- As we have been communicating for many months, there is no longer a set number of months of assistance people can expect, due to low remaining funds in the state pool. The number of months will be very limited. We do not know, and will not until after the end of February, when the funds in the pool will be fully expended. This means, you can have no expectation of 18 months of payments of assistance that had previously been communicated and conducted.
- This is a state run program, with all decisions decided at the State of Wisconsin level. Newcap (and all other community action agencies in the state) are administering, not in control of it. Therefore, we can make no exceptions to any program rule or requirement.
- Coaching and referral services (“housing stability services”) will continue beyond the end of the program for at least 2 years. We will still be here serving people for a long time, and, for the most vulnerable, there are still other programs to assist; though, nothing has been as broad-ranging and long-lasting as WERA.
Wisconsin residents that have experienced a significant loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and need help with their rent can apply.
- The applicant has attained the age of 18
- The applicant is a Wisconsin resident, and is listed on a current leas for housing in Wisconsin
- At least one or more individuals in the household meets the following criteria:
- Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a significant reduction in income, incurred significant costs, or experienced financial hardship during the period of the COVID-19 public health emergency
- Demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing stability; and
- Has a household income at or below 80 percent of CMI.
- An eligible household that occupies a federally subsidized residential or mixed-use property may receive WERA assistance, provided that WERA funds are not applied to costs that have been or will be reimbursed under any other federal assistance.
- NO Social Security Number is required to apply for or receive assistance