Emergency Rental Assistance Program: Broward County Announces a “Strike Team" to Assist Those Affected
November 4, 2021
The County is implementing a series of program enhancements to accelerate the processing of applications received by the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and get faster financial assistance to tenants and landlords who have suffered economic hardship due to COVID-19.
The following improvements will be made:
The processing of applications, previously outsourced, will be handled by Broward County's Human Services Department, Family Success Division. A "strike team" of knowledgeable and experienced staff has been assembled to lead this effort.
The Information Hotline, also previously outsourced, will now be handled by Broward County's Call Center and will be open Monday through Friday, from 8:30AM to 5PM. Additional call center specialists have been added to assist with questions. The new phone number is 954-831-ERAP (3727). The old phone number will remain in service with a message directing callers to the new number.
The online application portal, powered by Neighborly, has not changed. However, going forward, the portal will periodically open and close to facilitate the timely processing of applications received. The first closure of the portal will be at 11:59PM on Sunday, November 7, to allow County staff time to process all previously submitted applications. The portal will reopen on Sunday, November 21. Funds are still available to help residents who have experienced financial hardship directly or indirectly related to COVID-19. To check on the status of portal openings and closings, visit Broward.org/RentAssistance.
Even when the portal is closed to new applications, previous applicants who are already working with a case manager will be permitted to upload missing or supplemental documents to the portal as requested, to keep their application moving through the approval process.
The number of intake centers offering in-person assistance with applications and documentation has increased from two to four. Assistance is available at each of the County's Family Success Centers, located in Coral Springs, Hollywood/West Park, Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach. Appointments and facial coverings are required.
Several thousand partially completed applications are in the portal, and tenants and/or landlords must complete and submit them before 11:59PM Sunday, November 7 to be considered in this round of approvals. Unfinished applications in the system will still be available to residents when the portal reopens on November 21.
"Broward County is committed to the fast and efficient processing of this emergency assistance funding, which can help so many of our residents and landlords who have experienced financial hardship and difficulty paying rent or utilities during COVID-19," said Natalie Beasley, Assistant Director of Family Success. "These enhancements are going to help ensure these dollars get out into the community where they can help those who need it the most, including those who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability due to the pandemic."