The Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program (VERAP) is coming to an end.

Following are the changes that will be implemented to VERAP beginning October 1, 2022. Clarification of these rules may continue please check our website on Fridays for the most up to date information.

Rental Assistance:

  1. VERAP will STOP taking new applications for Rent.
  2. Participants who receive rental subsidy (such as Section 8) will no longer be eligible for rental assistance.
  3. Existing VERAP participants (those applying to VERAP prior to 10/1/22) will receive reduced rental and utility assistance dependent on income, according to the following schedule.
    • Participants with incomes between 31-80% of Area Median Income:
      • October 1, 2022, assistance will be reduced to 70%
      • November 1, 2022, assistance will be reduced to 50%
      • Rental Assistance will end November 30, 2022 
    • Participants with incomes at or below 30% of Area Median Income and below:
      • October 1, 2022, assistance will be reduced to 70%
      • Assistance will be provided until funding is gone.

Substantive Income Changes:

If an applicant’s reported income changes and the change results in the applicant being categorized in a new area median income (AMI) category, documentation of the reason for change and/or documentation of new income will be required

4. All HOTEL Nights will be capped at a rate of $130 per night

Other Expenses Related to Housing:

Application for Other Expenses Related to Housing are impacted as follows:

  1. VERAP will stop taking new applications for Other Expenses Related to Housing Habitability Repairs on 09/23/2022

  2. All Health and Safety Repairs must be completed, and all documentation uploaded by 11/30/2022

    • Arrears, Filing Fees, Sherriff Fees, and Plaintiff Legal Fees are eligible at 100% benefit
    • Stipulations received after 9/30/22 cannot include forward rent
    • Stipulations received after 9/23/22 cannot include damages
    • Stipulations are available to all VERAP approved participants, including tenants with a rental subsidy

      Stipulation Payments – New applications will not be accepted after 11/30/2022

  3. Rent into Court Applications will no longer be accepted after 11/30/2022

  4.   Money To Move applications will be accepted until 11/30/2022

    • All applicants with a subsidy are eligible for this benefit until 11/30/22.
    • All money to move requests will be paid at 100% and need to be requested within thirty days of move in date. 

Reach-Up Rental Assistance:

  1. Reach Up’s Rental Assistance is expected to continue until June 2023 — unless the funds run out before then.
  2. Approved Applicants are only eligible for a maximum of 18 months of rental payments. Some families may receive fewer than 18 months due to the program ending in June 2023.
  3. The program will keep:
    • Accepting new applications and making payments through June 30, 2023.
    • Paying the tenant’s portion of rent even if the tenant lives in subsidized housing.
    • Paying what the tenant owes.
  4. Utilities for Reach-Up Emergency Rental Assistance (RUERA) approved rental applicants will be paid at 100% until December 31, 2022 (or longer depending on the availability of funding)

Utilities (VERAP-U and REAP):

  1. Utility applications for VERAP and REAP will be accepted through December 31, 2022.
  2. For benefit month October 1, 2022, and thereafter, assistance will be reduced to 70%.
  3. Applications submitted after 9/30/2022 will receive assistance at 70% for all benefit months including arrearages.
  4. All utility payments will end December 31, 2022.

Other Helpful Resources:

Vermont 211 Homepage — VT 211

Public Benefit Programs – Including General Assistance Emergency Housing, 3SquaresVT, Fuel Assistance, Water Assistance and more:

https://dcf.vermont.gov/benefits

  1. ONLINE: Use the online application.
  2. BY MAIL: Call 1-800-479-6151 or visit a district office to get a paper application.
  3. IN PERSON: Apply in person at your local district office.

We have worked to create a summary of resources that may assist you during this time of transition.  Here is a list that you may find helpful. 

Housing Resources Guide | Vermont Income Limits.

If you have other needs, you may also reach out to 211 for resources that may not be listed here. 

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Overview

We understand too many Vermonters continue to struggle from the economic impacts of the pandemic. Our goal is to support these continued challenges as we approach more normalcy in the days ahead.

Our Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program’s (VERAP) mission is to help alleviate income pressure on tenants and landlords and restore stability to the rental community. We want to help empower eligible tenants and their landlords to work together to improve, rebuild and transform their communities and their lives for the better.

The program will offer relief for rent in arrears and ongoing rent payments, utility payments in arrears and ongoing, and other expenses related to housing. (money to move; rent into court and health and safety repairs)

The following FAQs will help tenants, landlords, and community partners answer questions and determine applicant eligibility.

What is VERAP?

The Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program (VERAP) was created to help renters dealing with financial challenges related to the pandemic. For eligible households, the program offers rental and utility assistance to help Vermonters avoid eviction or loss of utility service. ERAP was established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021.

What does VERAP include?

VERAP helps tenant households with paying rent, past-due rent balances (also known as arrears), utility and home energy costs, utility and home energy cost arrears, and other expenses related to housing. Rent expenses include rent, rent arrears. Utilities include separately stated electricity, gas, water, sewer, trash removal and energy costs, such as fuel oil.  

Eligibility

Who is eligible for VERAP?

  • Must be obligated to pay rent on a residential dwelling in Vermont. 
  • One or more individuals within the household has qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due to the pandemic.
  • You’re able to demonstrate risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability. 
  • The household has an income at or below 80% of area median income (AMI) Vermont Income Limits. 

What are the benefits?

  • Rent & Rent Arrears from 04/2020 forward (maximum 18 months)
  • Utility Bills Current and Arrears from 04/2020 (maximum 18 months per utility)
  • OERTH – Money to Move; Rent Into Court; Health and Safety Repairs

What documentation is needed?

Tenants Need:

  • 2020 or 2021 Annual Income (tax forms, W2, etc)
  • Current pay stubs (last 1 month)
  • Unemployment Compensation Benefits letter (if applicable)
  • Documentation for other income sources (Social Security or Disability, Child Support, Alimony, Pension as applicable)
  • Lease or rental agreement or letter of attestation from landlord
  • Eviction notice (If applicable)
  • Legal Name of your landlord

Having Trouble Applying?

Please don’t get discouraged!

If you need assistance with the application process, community partners are available to help.

Click here to find the community partner agency nearest you.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to make improvements to this program and user experience.