COVID-19 Housing Assistance

COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program Phase II (CVERAP Phase II)

This program will provide rental arrears and temporary rental assistance to low- and moderate-income 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. CVERAP Phase II applications will only be accepted ONLINE. Pre-applications will be accepted until an adequate number of pre-applications have been received to distribute all available program funds. A Notice will be published announcing when the open enrollment period will close.

Paper CVERAP Phase II applications will not be distributed or accepted but reasonable accommodations will be made for disabled individuals, persons who have limited English proficiency, and those without internet access. Please contact DCA’s Applicant Service at 609-490-4550, for assistance.

Submission of a CVERAP Phase II application does not guarantee placement in the program. Only one CVERAP Phase II application per household will be accepted.

A computerized selection (lottery) process will be used to determine the order in which applications will be selected for eligibility determination. Every application submitted during the open application period has the same chance of being selected during the lottery.

Please be advised that the submission of a CVERAP Phase II application does not guarantee placement in the program, nor does it guarantee CVERAP Phase II temporary rental assistance. You can check the status of your application here starting March 22, 2021. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

The Eviction Protection Program (EPP) is a new extension of the CVERAP program. It was designed to provide relief to landlords who have suffered deep economic losses through no fault of their tenants or themselves and make efforts to assist tenants who need help as a result of this crisis, in order to ensure some measure of security and stability for their families and communities; provide landlords with rental income required to safely and efficiently operate their buildings; and prevent a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic that will threaten health and safety. Learn more here

Emergency Rescue Mortgage Assistance Program (ERMA)

The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) will provide up to $35,000 in assistance to cover mortgage arrearages, delinquent property taxes, and other housing cost delinquencies for eligible homeowners negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
 

ERMA will also provide free housing counseling services to help New Jersey homeowners apply for this program, guide them through all available options, and even work with their loan servicers to achieve the best outcome available for their family.  NJHMFA counselors will also ensure that the process is accessible to those without access to internet or those having difficulties navigating the process. 

 
The ERMA application portal will open on February 8, 2022 at 9AM.

 

Click here to review program eligibility and sign up for program updates. To qualify for the ERMA program, homeowners must meet the following requirements: Be a New Jersey homeowner with a demonstrated COVID-19-related financial hardship occurring after January 20, 2020; Own and occupy an eligible primary residence; Have an income below 150% of their Area Median Income (AMI).

Applicants seeking accommodations should contact NJHMFA at 609-278-7400 for assistance.

County and City Rental Assistance Programs May Help

Atlantic County - Atlantic County is offering an Emergency Rental Assistance Program and a Short-Term Emergency Mortgage Assistance Grant Program for residents. No applications are being accepted in person and must be either submitted online or mailed in. To find income eligibility guidelines and other application information, please visit the above links or click here

Bergen County - Bergen County has an Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program available for eligible residents who experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19. It will pay up to 15 months of owed back rent starting from March 2020. There is no maximum and payments are made directly to landlords and/or property managers. For eligibility requirements and more information, click here

Burlington County - The Emergency Mortgage and Utility Assistance program of Burlington County was designed to help families impacted due to COVID-19 on a first come, first serve basis. They provide a maximum of six months assistance for standalone mortgage assistance, standalone utility assistance, or a combination of the two. To learn more about the program and apply, click here

Camden County - The Camden County Board of Commissioners a Recovers Rental Assistance program for those affected by COVID-19. This program provides rental and utility assistance up to 18 months of back rent and utilities. To apply and find income eligibility and other guidelines, click here

Cherry Hill ONLY - The Cherry Hill Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program provides up to six months of temporary mortgage and rental assistance for low- and moderate-income households that were affected by COVID-19. To find out income eligibility and general guidelines, click here

Essex County - Essex County Emergency Rental Assistance Program is offering eligible applicants money to pay rent or utility bills for those affected by COVID-19. The application can be found here

East Orange ONLY - COVID-19 Rental Assistance Grant Program Phase II is open as of 1/27/2022. Applications can be submitted at the following agencies: Isaiah House (973.678.5882 ext.3020 or rentalassistance@isaiahhouse.org), East Orange Community Development Center (973.266.5347 or eastorangecdc@aol.com), or NJSHARES (866.5950, option 7 or eastorange@njshares.org)

Gloucester County - Gloucester County has opened up applications for an Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program for unpaid rent and/or utility bills for low- and moderate-income households impacted by COVID-19. Eligible applicants may receive up to 18 months of assistance. For eligibility guidelines and income requirements, click here

Hudson County - The County of Hudson has opened its second round of its Eviction Protection Program for households affected by COVID-19 who meet the eligibility requirements. Applications will be open through March 1, 2022, OR until funding runs out. In order to be eligible, applicants must be a resident of Hudson County (with the exception of Jersey City residents), must have been financially impacted by COVID-19, must have received a summons or eviction notice from a landlord, and must meet the income guidelines outlined on the application homepage.

Hunterdon County - Family Promise of Hunterdon County is offering assistance to residents who are currently in rental arrears due to loss of income as the result of COVID-19. Call 908.782.2490. Learn more about their rental assistance programs here

Mercer County - Mercer County Department of Human Services and Mercer County Board of Social Services reopened the Emergency Rental Relief Program for Mercer County residents in need of financial assistance due to COVID-19. Household income must be at or below 80% area median income with priority given to households at or below 30%. For more information and to apply, click here

Middlesex County - Middlesex County's Emergency Rental Assistance Program (MCERAP) will begin accepting applications on May 3, 2021 for financial aid from renter households that are behind on rent and/or utility payments as a result of COVID-19. Eligible households must have at least one individual meeting the following criteria: qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19, demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, mainly documented by having an outstanding rental balance and/or eviction filing, and/or has a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median income. Find out more here.

Edison ONLY - The Township of Edison has allocated $1,000,000 of its federal Community Development Block Grant CARES Act Funds towards the creation of an Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program. This can provide assistance for up to six months in arrears of housing costs for low- to mid-income households at or below the 80% Area Median Income. To find out more information and how to apply, click here.  

Monmouth County - This application is currently closed, but may reopen if the county receives more funding. The Monmouth County Emergency Rental Assistance Program offers eligible applicants affected by COVID-19 rental assistance to be paid directly to their landlord. Anyone with rental arrears dating before March 13, 2020 does NOT apply.

Morris County - Morris County has partnered with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to utilize the state’s program vendor and using one on-line portal to access the application. Applicants may be eligible for up to twelve months of arrears and three months of current or future rents. For income guidelines and eligibility information, click here

Ocean County – The Ocean County Residential Emergency Rental Assistance Program is a program designed to help low income residents who are struggling to pay rent or may be facing eviction. There can only be one application submitted per household unless roommates have individual leases. You may be eligible for up to 12 months of rent arrearages plus three months of future rent, but it may not exceed $26,610. Landlords can apply on behalf of tenants as well. Applications begin April 7, 2021. Funds are limited so be sure to apply early. If approved, the funds will be paid directly to the applicant's landlord. To find out more information, including income eligibility requirements and required documents, click here. You can also find the 2021 - 2022 Housing and Resource Directory here

Another program being offered in Ocean County is through the Social Services for the Homeless (SSH) Grant. Overseen by the Ocean County Board of Social Services, this grant 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: $1,230 / 2 bedrooms: $1,558 / 3 bedrooms: $2,142 / 4 bedrooms: $2,374. Clients can call 732-349-1500 and request to speak to someone in Special Response to complete a screening.  

Passaic County - Funds are currently unavailable, but they are still encouraging residents to fill out an application. Passaic County residents who have been struggling to pay their rent or may be facing eviction due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects are encouraged to apply for the Passaic Housing Security Initiative and Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The Spanish version of this application can be found here. This program will provide rental arrears and temporary rental assistance to low and moderate-income households with a substantial reduction in income, including those who have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Passaic County is also now offering a resource hub for social and human services to their residents including community-based organizations, faith communities, government, law enforcement, education, business, and nonprofits. 

Somerset County - This application is currently closed, but may reopen if the county receives more funding. The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) provides significant economic relief to help low and moderate-income households at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability by providing support for rental arrears and temporary rental assistance. This program provides up to 12 months in arrears and 6 months for current and future rents for residents that meet all eligibility criteria. To learn more, click here

Union County - The Urban League of Union County, Inc. Emergency Rental Relief Program is available for residents who lost income due to COVID-19 and are/were unable to pay rent. Applicants may be eligible to up to six month's rent owed. Funds are limited. To apply, click here

Union County also offers their own Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). This is to provide significant economic relief to help low and moderate-income households at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability by providing rental arrears, temporary rental assistance and utility arrears assistance. The program’s application portal will re-open on Monday, March 7, 2022. Landlords AND tenants must fill out applications separately in order to be eligible. To find out more and eligibility, click here.

Warren County - The Family Promise of Warren County's Homelessness Prevention Program is a grant program to provide temporary assistance to households who are being evicted due to a short-term loss of income. To find requirements including eligibility, documents needed to apply, and income guidelines, click here

Learn about other homelessness prevention programs across New Jersey by searching our resource database

Tenants Know your Rights

There is an eviction moratorium during the COVID-19 Emergency which prevents renters from being locked out of their home until after that time. You must self-certify by filling out the self-certification form to ensure you are protected, you can access the form here. The deadline to fill out the from depends on your income. While the Governor has the power to shorten or extend this protective measure, during the time that it is in effect, renters have certain rights. The Community Health Law Project, offers a simple summary of what you can expect and on other topics.

NJ Courts also recorded and posted a webinar detailing Landlord/Tenant Legal Information regarding eviction matters.

Legal Services of New Jersey's has a monthly newsletter dedicated to different topics about housing updates, policies, and more. You can find the July/August 2022 issue here

Free Counseling Available to Homeowners and Renters

Governor Murphy and Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) announced an expansion in the NJ HMFA's Housing Counseling Initiative during the pandemic. Now free assistance is available from housing counselors to help homeowners going through foreclosure, which includes pre-foreclosure and rental assistance counseling. Even families that are receiving some sort of relief are expressing concern at their ability to make back payments on rent, mortgages, property taxes, etc. A housing counselor can help you understand what sort of relief is available for your situation and build an action plan to get you to the other side of this crisis with your best possible outcomes. You may also seek help through this program by calling 1-800-NJ-HOUSE.

Help for Homeowners - Counselors will provide an analysis of the client’s financial situation; evaluation of the current value of the home that is subject to the mortgage; review of options such as lender in-house modifications that may include restructuring or refinancing strategies; and the approval of an action plan by all interested parties.   In the case of foreclosure prevention, whether or not the homeowner is in foreclosure, the goal is to assist the homeowners in retaining their homes with an affordable mortgage, however this result cannot be guaranteed in all situations and some instances may require assisting with a soft transition. Learn more about help for homeowners here or here.

Help for Renters - Counselors will provide an analysis of the client’s financial situation, and guide tenants through budget and credit repair, assist with fair housing issues, and eviction diversion and transition, if necessary. Learn more about help for renters here.

Housing Help NJ

Housing Help NJ is a program that is administered through the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ. It was developed to connect New Jersey renters, landlords, and homeowners with information available from multiple sources to assist in preventing eviction. If you would like to speak with someone about foreclosure or eviction, you may also call 888.691.3002. Housing Help NJ does not provide direct financial assistance.

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