How do I fill out the application?
Go online to caddo.covidrenthelp.org to view a “How To Apply” video showing instructions for completing the application. To view, click on the “How To Apply” option. The video has subtitles in English available.
Applications may be submitted online using a smartphone, mobile device, or computer with Internet access. Applicants must have a valid e-mail address to apply. Paper applications will not be accepted.
What information do I need when submitting my application?
▪ Your email address and phone number (If you do not have an email address and need to create an email account, go to gmail.com or yahoo.com);
▪ The following information for each household member:
o Full name, date of birth, gender, race, ethnicity, relationship to the head of household, and one of the following if you have one: social security number, alien registration number, individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN);
▪ The household's current address and mailing address;
▪ Each household member's current gross monthly income (before taxes or deductions are taken out) and the types of income;
▪ Your landlord's name, email address, and phone number;
▪ Additionally, to streamline your eligibility processing, please ask your landlord if they have registered for a landlord account at caddo.covidrenthelp.org and have a Referral Code. If they have encourage them to register at caddo.covidrenthelp.org. If they have, include the Referral Code in your application. However, a Landlord Referral Code is not required for you to submit your application.
Documents are not required to submit your application.
If I received rent help through the Louisiana Emergency Rental Assistance Program (LERAP), can I apply for rent help again?
Yes, this is a new program and a different set of eligibility criteria. Applicants who received rent support from the LERAP program can apply; however, this program will not provide funding for the same months for which assistance was received under the LERAP program. All randomly selected applicants must meet this program’s eligibility criteria to be eligible for funds. Because this is a new program, you will have to submit documents you may have submitted for the prior program.
If I am currently homeless or staying temporarily with a friend, family member, or in a series of other people's homes, am I eligible for ERA funds?
Persons who are homeless, staying with a friend, family member, or in a series of other people’s homes are not eligible for ERA funds.
If I receive federal housing subsidy from another federal program (Public Housing, Section 8 Tenant-Based and Project Based Voucher Program), can I get ERA funds?
Yes, partially. Renters who receive federal subsidy and are otherwise eligible for ERA assistance, would only be eligible for the rent portion owed by the renter and not the amount covered by the federal housing subsidy program.
However, ERA funds cannot be paid for any months for which you received other emergency rental assistance funds from any other emergency rental assistance program such as the Louisiana Emergency Rental Assistance Program (LERAP). You must return the funds if this ERA program pays for a month that was covered by another program.
If I need help in applying or uploading documents, how can I get help?
If you need help in applying, you can call 318-239-7772 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, except for observed holidays or you can contact one of the following local non-profits if you need additional application assistance:
Catholic Charities of North La.
NWLA Community Development Corp.
United Way of Northwest La.
Is there a cost to apply for the ERA Program?
No. There is no cost to apply. The ERA Program will never ask for payment to apply. There is no fee that will improve your chances that your application will be selected or ensure you will receive ERA benefits. Please do not provide personal information to anyone claiming he or she can help you in any of these ways.
Can my landlord apply for me?
Your landlord can refer you to the program but cannot apply on your behalf without your permission. If your landlord submits your name to the program, a Referral Code will be sent to you encouraging you to apply. You can add this Referral Code to your application to link you and your landlord together to streamline eligibility processing. However, your landlord can assist you with your online application at your request and with your permission.
Can someone else apply for me?
Yes, if you are comfortable having someone else provide your personal information and submit the application on your behalf. By hitting the submit button on your online application, you or the person assisting you with your application are certifying that all the information being provided is true and complete for your household.
How many applications can I submit?
Only one application per household can be submitted. A household is defined as people who reside together and have one lease. If you have roommates who each have separate leases, you are considered different households and must apply separately. Any duplicate submissions will be denied and may cause delays in determining your household’s eligibility for assistance or be considered as fraud.
How will I know that my application was submitted?
Once your application is submitted, you will receive a Confirmation ID. This ID will also be sent to the email address you provided in the application. Please keep your Confirmation ID for future reference.
Applying does not guarantee your application will be randomly selected for eligibility determination.
What happens if I provide untrue or incomplete information on my application?
Renters and landlords provide information under penalty of perjury. Applications with untrue or incomplete information will either be delayed or denied and are subject to prosecution. Funds distributed due to untrue information must be returned immediately to the Caddo Parish ERA Program.
How do I check the status of my application?
You may check the status of your application anytime by logging into your Caddo ERA Portal at caddo.covidrenthelp.org
using the username and password that you set up when you registered for an account.
When will the random selections of applications occur for eligibility reviews?
The first random selection will occur on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, at 12 noon. Additional random selections will occur every Wednesday at noon through September 2021, or until enough applicants have been randomly selected and are completing their eligibility processing. The Program will use priority points described above to determine priority for the random selections.
If my application was not chosen in the random selection process, what is next?
If your application was not chosen through the random selection process, it will automatically be included in the next weekly random selection process until funds are fully committed. You do not need to apply again.
Will randomly selected applicants be notified that their application was chosen for eligibility review?
If your application is randomly selected, you will receive an email (and text if you opted-in) that lets you know your application was selected for review and that you are required to submit documentation to begin the review of your application. The ERA Program will also reach out to your landlord to get information to complete the eligibility process. The eligibility review will not begin until you have submitted all required documents.
Applicants who were not randomly selected, will not receive an email
Which documents are renters required to provide to determine eligibility for assistance?
Documentation is not required at the time of application. If your application is selected for eligibility review, you will be notified to submit the following documentation:
▪ A Self-Certification of COVID Impact form (provided by the Program) stating you were impacted by COVID; the form will require an online E-signature.
▪ Proof of current monthly income for all household members (e.g., recent pay stubs, unemployment benefits letter, etc.). Self-certification is available in some cases.
▪ Proof your household is at risk of experiencing homelessness or that your housing is unstable, which may include a past due utility/rent notice or eviction notice.
▪ Your current lease (or written rental agreement) showing address, leaseholder, amount of lease rent, term of lease or if your lease is on a month-to-month basis; the lease must have been signed by you and your landlord.
▪ Government issued photo ID for the head of household (e.g., driver's license, Passport, or other photo ID).
Which income documents can be used to prove current monthly gross income?
Families who currently receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, or Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) may be able to provide their current benefit letter instead of documentation listed above.
Otherwise, verification can include:
● 2 most recent consecutive pay stubs
● Other proof of earned income
● 2021 Social Security/SSI benefit letter
● Proof of child support
● TANF (Temporary Assistance For Needy Families) assistance letter
● Unemployment benefits letter
● Veterans benefits letter
● Self-employment accounting documentation/books
● Proof of annuities
● Proof of retirement funds
● Pension benefit letter
● Worker’s compensation/severance pay verification
● Armed Forces pay verification
● Student financial assistance verification
● Regular contributions or gifts verification
● Alimony verification
● Other documents to verify your income
If a household cannot reasonably provide proof of some income types, the program will provide a self-certification form in some cases:
● Employment (self-employment, cash payments, odd jobs)
● Child Support (direct payment, irregular payments)
● Regular Contributions/Gifts to the household
● Other income that cannot be proved by a third party source
How do I upload documents once my application is selected for eligibility review?
To upload documents using your PC or Mac, please do the following:
▪ Tap on "Select files..." You will be presented with a web browser for uploading files. Please find and select your file(s).
To upload documents using your smartphone or tablet, you can take photos with your device. Make sure the photo is legible and complete to avoid delays in processing your application. The ERA Program suggests downloading the CamScanner app to assist you in scanning your documents accurately.
What does the applicant eligibility review process look like for randomly selected applications?
As applications are randomly selected for eligibility review, the renter will be notified that they need to submit certain documentation to support their application. The renter will have 5 calendar days to submit all necessary information, which can be uploaded directly to their application portal account. You can also text it or email it to the program. You can request an extension if necessary. If the information is not received by the deadline or you have not requested an extension, your application will be marked as inactive and eligibility review will stop. Once the documentation is received, the application will be assigned to an Eligibility Specialist who will resume review.
Once the applicant sends in their information, if any documentation is missing or incomplete, the Eligibility Specialist will attempt to reach the applicant by the email address and phone number listed on the application. The applicant will have an additional 72 hours (3 days) to provide any missing or incomplete documentation to the Eligibility Specialist. If the documentation is not submitted by the due date, the application will be marked as inactive until the documents are received, and the eligibility review will stop.
At the same time, a team will be reaching out to the landlord to see if the landlord is willing to participate and provide documentation.
What if my landlord refuses to participate in the Program?
If your landlord refuses to enroll in the Program, you can still apply directly. To provide direct payments to the renter, the Program is required to attempt to reach the landlord to confirm their unwillingness to participate. After a 10-calendar day period in which the Program has not heard from the landlord or the Program has confirmation they have declined to participate, the payment will be made to the renter. The renter will complete an additional certification form and provide additional information in these cases.
What happens if an applicant is determined ineligible for the ERA Program?
Applicants who are found to be ineligible for ERA Program funds will be notified by email. If the landlord is registered with the program, the landlord will also be notified that their renter is ineligible but will not be provided with the reason for denial.
If I am a renter and I receive ERA funds, is it counted as income?
Program funds paid directly to the renter, when a landlord does not agree to participate, are not considered taxable income for the renter.
If I am a renter and I receive ERA funds, do I need to provide any documentation to receive additional assistance?
Yes, you will need to provide a proof of payment that verifies you paid the funds to your landlord.