Emergency Rental Assistance

Linn County is working with Waypoint to administer rent and utility assistance through the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to residents of Linn County. This program may provide eligible residents with up to 18 months of rent and/or utility assistance. Applicants must be able to provide documentation or self-certify experiencing a financial hardship in their household that has affected their ability to pay rent. These funds are intended to keep Linn County residents in their housing or access new housing and to help and support our community landlords. 

This webpage contains information on eligibility and how to apply for assistance. 

If you are in need of immediate rental assistance due to a pending eviction, gap payment coverage is available to cover rent while applying for the ERAP. To access this assistance, you must show up to your eviction hearing at the Linn County Courthouse and visit the Linn County Help Desk where individuals from Waypoint and Iowa Legal Aid will assist you.

How do I apply for the ERAP?

The ERAP application can be completed online via a desktop, laptop, or mobile device. The online application is available in more than 60 languages.

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If you have questions about the rental assistance program or the application, contact Waypoint at 319-289-7003 or email [email protected].

What can the ERAP help with?

The ERAP program administered by Linn County can provide eligible applicants with up to 18 months of rent assistance, utility assistance, or assistance for both. 

Rent Assistance

  • For past due rent for payments dated back to March 13, 2020
  • Up to three (3) months of future rent
  • Late fees acquired due to missed rent payments
  • Rent payments will be made by HACAP directly to the landlords or property managers of successful applicants

Utility Assistance

  • For water, sewer, and trash removal payments
  • For gas or propane payments
  • For electricity payments
  • For internet payments 
    • Note: To receive assistance for internet expenses you must provide verification that you or someone in your home is working or attending school from home

Who is eligible for the ERAP?

To be eligible for assistance from the ERAP, you must be a rental household and able to provide documentation or self-certify the following:

  • Household income with no more than 80% of the Annual Median Income (AMI)
  • Proof of financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in March of 2020
    • Note: Those negatively impacted by the August 2020 derecho will meet this requirement
  • Proof the household is experiencing housing instability such as:
    • Threat of, pending, or current eviction
    • Threat of or a current utility shut off
    • Threat of homelessness

Applications will be prioritized based on the following criteria

  • Household income under 50% AMI
  • One or more household members that have been unemployed for at least 90 days 
  • Pending eviction 
  • Pending or current utility shut off

What do I need to apply for the ERAP?

  • Photo ID
  • If applicable, verification of receipt of unemployment benefits
  • Income documentation
    • 2020 Federal Tax Return
    • 2020 W-2’s
    • Verification of receipt of other Federal programs (ex: FIP/ TANF, SNAP, Medicaid, etc.) 
    • Previous 30 days’ worth of paystubs 
    • Bank statements demonstrating regular income (minimum of 30 days’ worth)
    • Or attestation from an employer
  • Housing instability documentation 
    • Past due rent or utility bill notice
    • Notice of eviction 
    • Utility shutoff notice 
    • Or third party verification of unsafe/ unhealthy/ unstable living conditions
  • Current and signed lease agreement
    • Must be signed by both the landlord and the tenant
    • Must show lease term and rental rate with any applicable fees 
  • If requesting assistance with utilities, the applicant must provide a bill or invoice with an account number as applicable
  • If requesting assistance with internet service, the applicant must provide a bill or invoice
    • Must be able to document or attest to the fact that their need for internet is due to working from home, attending school remotely, and/or accessing healthcare remotely