The process for receiving emergency rental assistance varies by state. Eviction prevention programs are federally funded but managed by local and state governments, along with nonprofit organizations.
In New York City, the nonprofit Coalition for the Homeless provides a one-time grant to individuals in need who are able to pay their rent going forward. The program requires a signed court stipulation and proof of the ability to pay rent in the future. The Department of Human Services in D.C. has an Emergency Rental Assistance Program, or ERAP, which helps to pay overdue rent and court fees in the case of imminent eviction. The ERAP can make a direct payment to a landlord, court or court marshal for up to $4,250 in overdue rent on the renter's behalf. Only city residents living 125 percent below the monthly federal poverty level qualify.
Each state has a housing finance agency or a local public housing agency office where residents can find out in detail what aid programs are offered in that state. A local branch of the Housing and Urban Development office can also provide information on programs that help pay rent or utility bills. Eligible applicants can qualify for subsidized apartment rents through the local public housing agency. The Department of Veterans Affairs has assistance programs specially designed to help veterans with housing, and the Administration on Aging provides a similar service for senior citizens.