By Eric Rosario
On March 3, 2021, the Department of Administration (DOA) will begin the tenant pre-application process of the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program. The ERA program will provide renters impacted by COVID-19 with rent, rental arrears, utilities, and utility arrears assistance for up to 15 months. The grant will not cover rent, rent arrears, utilities, or utility arrears prior to March 13, 2020.
Tenant pre-applications will be accepted from March 3-19, 2021. Tenant pre-application forms will be available for download on the DOA website (www.DOA.guam.gov) on March 3, 2021. Hard copies of the pre-application forms will be available for pickup at village mayors’ offices or the first floor of the ITC building.
The program is made possible through $75 million in funding Congressman Michael San Nicolas specifically fought for Guam to receive. Once approved in the last stimulus package, the congressman reached out to the Leon Guerrero administration for swift implementation. The administration has since designated the proper agencies to administer the federal program locally.
“Since the beginning of this pandemic, I, along with governors throughout the nation, have advocated for a national rental assistance program. We hope this program will bring relief to the hundreds of families on Guam who have been affected by COVID-19,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero. “As we continue to battle this pandemic, our people should not have to worry when they can pay their rent or utilities. While this program is limited, we will continue to push the federal government to increase direct relief to the states and territories so we can better protect our people.”
“We have been preparing to implement this rental assistance program since the second relief package was signed into law. We cannot afford to allow people to be put on the streets in the middle of a pandemic, and we know the burden landlords have had to carry because of the eviction moratorium,” said Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio.
Landlords are encouraged to work with tenants who are in arrears to complete and submit the tenant pre-application. If tenants are unable to submit, landlords may be able to submit an application on their behalf. Landlord applications will be released at a later date.