The Department of Family Services and the Department of Workforce Services, alongside the Wyoming Legislature, other state agencies, and community partners, has initiated the planning phase for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed Executive Order 2021-02 on Feb. 8, 2021, directing DFS to begin the work on the ERAP. Although the exact reach of the program still needs to be defined by the United States Treasury, the program should help Wyoming residents with rental assistance, maintaining safe housing, and avoiding evictions and past due utility bills due to the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit some Wyoming residents and small businesses particularly hard,” DFS Director Korin Schmidt said. “We value keeping families safely in their homes and are excited for the opportunity to administer this program which will provide needed financial support to tenants and landlords.”
Renters applying for the program may be eligible for rental payments, both past-due and ongoing bills, for up to 15 months total. Bills must be for services between March 13, 2020, and March 31, 2022. Utilities and home energy costs which may be covered include water, sewer, trash, electric, gas, and fuel oil or propane. Telephone, cable television and internet are not included under current federal guidance.
Under federal law, homeowners and commercial properties are not eligible for this program.
For more information, including a list of frequently asked questions, and to sign up for email updates, please visit the DFS website at: https://dfs.wyo.gov/assistance-programs/emergency-rental-assistance-program-erap/
If you have suggestions on how the program should operate, your input is encouraged. Please email suggestions to RentalAssistance@wyo.gov.
For information on other assistance that may be available in your area, please continue to contact Wyoming 211 by dialing 2-1-1.