Emergency Rental Assistance

Linn County is administering a second round of rent and utility assistance through the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to residents of Linn County. This program may provide eligible residents with 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. Linn County will prioritize residents who need this assistance to stabilize their housing and will be intentional with these funds to create long-term stability for households when possible. The goal with the second round of funding is to meet residents where they are and connect them to community resources that can address the root causes of housing instability while providing financial assistance to support them through it. This means more time will be taken to work with applications and serve them holistically, resulting in longer turnaround times for funding. 

What can the ERAP help with?

Rent payments will be made by Waypoint directly to the landlords or property managers of successful applications. These funds must be used to cover past rent payments back to September 1, 2022, first, before tenants can receive additional rental assistance to cover future payments on a case by case basis.

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 50% of the Annual Median Income (AMI)
  • Demonstrated financial hardship during the pandemic which began in March 2020
  • Demonstrated housing instability:
    • Threat of, pending, or current eviction
    • Threat of or a current utility shut off
    • Threat of homelessness
  • Have not already used 18 months of ERA assistance. Below are the date ranges and programs for which a duplication of benefits will be conducted:
    • State of Iowa ERA1 funding administered by IFA
      • 10/2020 – 8/15/2021
      • 1/3/2022 – 8/30/2023
    • Linn County ERA2 funding administered by HACAP
      • 9/16/2021 – 12/28/2021

How do I apply for the ERAP?

Households seeking assistance will begin the process by contacting Waypoint by calling 319-366-7999 or by emailing [email protected]. Waypoint will work with households to determine next steps to best serve Linn County residents. 

  • If the applicant does not require additional assistance, the applicant will be provided with the link to complete the application.
  • If additional assistance is needed, the applicant will schedule a time to complete the application with a Waypoint staff member. Waypoint staff will work with applicants to complete the application and identify additional referrals that could support their overall stability. 
  • If it is determined that a household is able to meet their own financial needs, they will not immediately be referred for financial assistance and instead may be referred to wraparound community supports.