ERAP: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Emergency Rental Assistance Program?

A: The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) helps District residents earning less than 40% of the Area Median Income (AMI) who are facing housing emergencies, by providing funding for overdue rent including late fees and court costs if qualified household is facing eviction. The program also supports security deposits and the first month's rent for residents moving into new apartments. The amount paid on behalf of eligible households depends on a household's income and available resources and is subject to certain limitations.

In the past year DHS received an influx of applications and closed the application portal in March 2023. To serve residents effectively and efficiently throughout the year, DHS will open the ERAP application portal on October 1, 2023, January 2, 2024, April 1, 2024, and July 1, 2024. Residents will be able to log-in at 12:00:00 PM on July 1, 2024, and the portal will remain open until 4,000 applications are received. Residents seeking emergency rental assistance are highly encouraged to note the above-mentioned dates and submit applications in a timely manner.

At the end of each fiscal year, September 30th, any incomplete application will be removed from the ERAP application platform. While you may have received an acknowledgement confirming that you started the application, it was not fully submitted. You must start a new application, complete it, and receive a "Submitted" confirmation affirming that your application was submitted successfully. The formal acknowledgement of submission is essential to complete the application process.

Your application is fully submitted when you receive a confirmation (Email and/or Text) as shown below:

Sample Email Confirmation:

Sample Text Confirmation:


Q: How much does ERAP provide for back rent arrears?

A: Per the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Rent Reasonableness Guidelines, ERAP may provide up to five times the rental amount based on the area zip code and bedroom size of the apartment/house.


Q: How much does ERAP provide for security deposit and first month rent?


A: ERAP payment for the first month’s rent shall not exceed the actual amount of one month’s unsubsidized rent. The security deposit shall be the actual amount of the deposit which may not exceed one month’s unsubsidized rent. 


Q: Can I apply for security deposit and first month rent for a unit outside of DC?

A: When you apply for ERAP, you need to be a current DC resident. However, you are able to apply for security deposit and first month rent for a unit in a neighboring county (for example: Prince Georges County, Montgomery County, Arlington County, etc.).


Q: How many times a year can I apply for and receive ERAP?

A: You may apply for and receive ERAP once within a 12-month period.


Q: Do I have to be a DC resident to apply for DC ERAP?

A: Yes, DC ERAP is limited to current DC residents. To apply for the past due rent assistance program, you would need to be the leaseholder for a DC unit. In addition, you must be currently leasing a DC unit for which you are applying for assistance.  If you are currently a resident of Maryland or Virginia, please contact their local social services department.


Q: What is the general timeframe for my application to be processed?

A: Applications are processed in the order that they are received. Once you submit your application, it will be reviewed by one of six community based organizations that administer the ERAP program. When an organization has started reviewing your application, you will receive an email notification. Once all documents are submitted from both you and your landlord, your eligibility will be determined within ten days. 

Note: Payments are always made directly to your landlord/property management company.


Q: What are the eligibility requirements?

A: To meet the basic eligibility requirements for ERAP, you need to be a DC resident, you need to be at least 30 days behind in rent for back rental assistance applicants or have a threat of homelessness for security deposit and first month’s rent assistance applicants and your household needs to be under the income limits.


Q: What are the monthly income limits?

A: The monthly income limit depends on your household size. Here is a chart below that details the income limits per household size.


Household Size

40% AMI Annual Net Income

40% AMI Monthly Net Income





















































Q: How can I apply for ERAP?

A: There are two (2) ways to apply for ERAP. You can visit and submit an application and upload the required documents* online. This can be done on a computer or on a smart phone/tablet.

*You can find the list of the required documents on this FAQs page.


Q: What documents do I need to submit with my application?

A: The following two documents are mandatory for all applicatons:

  • Proof of residency (lease, letter from landlord)
  • Photo ID for all adults in household (current government issued ID such driver’s license, passport).

The following documents are desired but not mandatory if you complete the self certification.  Providing these documents will make completing your application easier:

  • Proof of Income for last 30 days (paystubs, SSI, SSDI, unemployment benefits, retirement, child support, TANF). If you don’t have income, you would need to sign a 0 Income Statement.
  • Proof of resources or benefits (bank statement from the last 30 days for all accounts, SNAP).

If applying for First Month/Security Deposit: Proof of Rental Agreement such as an approval notice for the new unit you applied for and Documentation of Need for Assistance such as homelessness verification, notice of eviction or voucher for new unit.


Additional documents may be requested throughout the application process.


Q: What documentation is needed from my landlord?

A: To complete your application, once you have submitted all the required Tenant documents, your Landlord is required to submit the following documents.  Note: You, as the Tenant, may submit this information as well. 

  • For all Landlords:
  • Additionally, for private landlords:
    • Copy of ID and proof of Social Security Number.


Q: Should I submit multiple applications if I don’t receive any written or verbal communication from the program?

A: No, please only submit “one” application. Submitting multiple applications will not result in the application being processed faster.


Q: How do I check the status of my application?

A: You may go to and log in with your email and password to check the status of your application. You should also watch for emails regarding the status of your application. Please also check your spam folder for emails from the ERAP team.


Q: How to Appeal or Request Fair Hearing or Administrative Review?

Your Right to Appeal Your Eligibility Decision for Emergency Assistance

If you disagree with our decision to deny your application for Emergency Rental Assistance(ERAP) Benefits, or the amount of your Assistance Payment, you can appeal through a Fair Hearing. Before the Fair Hearing, you have a right to an Administrative Review. The Administrative Review is optional and less formal than a Fair Hearing. If you want, you can choose to have both.

You have the right to request an appeal within 90 days after the date of your eligibility decision

To Request a “Fair Hearing”, you need to:

  • Call the Office of Administrative Hearings, at 727-8280 or send in your request in writing to the Office of Administrative Hearings, 441 4th Street, N.W., Suite 450 North, Washington, D.C. 20001; OR
  • Tell your ERAP worker that you want a Fair Hearing. By law, the worker must help you make your request. You can talk with your ERAP worker at their office, or call the worker at the telephone number listed below; OR
  • Call the Family Services Administration, at 541-3914, or send in your request in writing to the Family Services Administration, 64 New York Avenue, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002

To Receive an “Administrative Review”:

  • You do not need to file a separate request for an administrative review. Once you request a Fair Hearing, you will automatically be offered an opportunity for an Administrative Review by the Family Services Administration.
  • A notice will be sent to you notifying you of the time, date, and place for the Administrative Review.
  • If you do not appear at the Administrative Review, you will still have a Fair Hearing. The Office of Administrative Hearings will send you a notice telling you the time, date and place for the Fair Hearing.

At Your Fair Hearing or Administrative Review:

  • You have the right to be represented by a lawyer (see below), relative, or any other person of your choice who is not an employee of the D.C. Government and to bring witnesses or evidence that helps your case.

Free legal representation may be available from:

Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless 1200 U Street, NW (202) 328-5500
Bread for the City Legal Clinic 1640 Good Hope Road, SE (202) 561-8587
Bread for the City Legal Clinic 1525 7th Street, NW (202) 265-2400
Legal Aid Society 666 11th Street, NW (202) 628-1161


In any case where an emergency will occur prior to completion of this appeal process, we will take all reasonable steps to expedite the appeals process in light of the emergency

Equality and Non-Discrimination

In accordance with the D.C. Human Rights Act of 1977, as amended, D.C. Official Code § 2-1401.01 et seq.(Act), the District of Columbia, does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, disability, source of income, and place of residence or business. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, which is prohibited by the Act. In addition, harassment based on any of the above protected categories is prohibited by the Act. Discrimination in violation of the Act will not be tolerated. Violators will be subject to disciplinary action.


Q: Which organizations provide ERAP?

A: The following agencies provide ERAP:


Catholic Charities

The Southeast Family Center

924 G Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

Office: 202-338-3100 Fax: 202-338-3188


Housing Counseling Services

2410 17th St NW Suite 100 Washington, DC 20009

Adams Alley (between Euclid and Kalorama Streets)

Office: 202-667-7006 Fax: 202-667-1267


Salvation Army

National Capital Area Command

1434 Harvard St NW Suite B Washington, DC 20009

Office: 202-332-5000 Fax: 202-332-5156


Additional Salvation Army Location

The Solomon G. Brown Social Services Center

2300 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE Washington, DC 20020

Office: 202-678-9771 Fax: 202-889-8492


The Community Partnership for The Prevention of Homelessness (TCP) at Virginia Williams Family Resource Center

920 Rhode Island Ave NE Washington, DC 20018
Office: 202-312-5510 Fax: 202-312-5598


The Greater Washington Urban League

2901 14th St NW Washington, DC 20009

Office: 202-265-8200 Fax: 202-387-6515



1020 Bladensburg Road NE Washington, DC 20002

Office: 202-795-5444


Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC)

1401 Columbia Road NW, Unit C-1 Washington, DC 20009

Office: 202-540-7400


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