Renters’ assistance program suspended
Published 3:15 pm Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Due to overwhelming response, phase one of the Louisiana Emergency Rental Assistance Program (LERAP) application process has been temporarily suspended, but citizens can continue to sign up for notification of the opening of future phases. Administered and funded by the Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) in partnership with the State of Louisiana Office of Community Development (OCD), the LERAP is designed to help households financially impacted as a result of shutdowns, closures, layoffs, reduced work hours or unpaid leave due to the pandemic.
Launched last Thursday, more than 40,000 renters have visited LaRentHelp.com or contacted 2-1-1 to initiate the application process.
The LHC will continue to process applications and follow-up with renters who qualify to receive financial assistance. The program will reopen as additional funds become available. To learn more or receive notice about additional rental resources, visit LaRentHelp.com to subscribe to the mailing list.
“The response to our state’s emergency rental assistance program proves how significant the economic burden of COVID-19 is for our citizens,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “This program was designed to help mitigate and off-set evictions and homelessness, and while we have allocated an additional $17 million for a total of $24 million in federal assistance, we know that much more is needed to address this serious crisis for the hard-working men and women who continue to keep our state going during this crisis.”
The LHC will continue to update the program’s website and provide information to Louisiana renters as it becomes available.
“We know there are many individuals and families whose lives have been upended by this pandemic and that there is a great sense of urgency for housing assistance,” LHC Executive Director E. Keith Cunningham Jr. said. “As the state’s housing agency, we are committed to doing everything we can to meet the needs of renters and landlords and are hopeful that additional federal dollars will become available as soon as possible.”
The first phase of the program is funded with $7 million from the HOME Investment Partnership Program that is currently available, and the next phases will be funded by $5 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and $12 million in Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. CDBG and ESG funds are not yet available but are expected soon. All the funding is provided to the state from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The Louisiana Housing Corporation’s mission is to ensure that every Louisiana resident is granted an opportunity to obtain safe, affordable, energy-efficient housing. Each day this ongoing challenge is met by a dedicated staff of professionals who allocate federal and state funds to help low-to-moderate income citizens make their housing dreams a reality. LHC administers federal and state funds through programs designed to advance the development of energy efficient and affordable housing for working families, drive housing policy for Louisiana and oversee the state’s Disaster Housing Task Force.