State Distributes More Than $100 Million in Pandemic Housing Assistance to 20,000+ Louisiana Residents: Funds Still Available; Apply Now

Published 3:49 pm Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The Louisiana Office of Community Development has distributed more than $100 million in federal housing assistance to more than 20,000 residents through the Louisiana Emergency Rental Assistance Program, a federally funded COVID-19 relief program. Funds are still available for eligible residents who apply now.

The program focuses on paying past-due rent and utility costs dating from April 2020. It may also cover up to three months of future rent and utilities, as well as some penalties or late fees.

“By helping Louisiana renters stay in their homes, this program creates recovery opportunities for residents experiencing ongoing financial impacts from COVID-19,” Pat Forbes, OCD executive director, said. “We encourage all renters affected by COVID-19 who meet the eligibility criteria to apply for the program.”

Louisiana renters and landlords may be eligible for the program if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • They qualify, or previously qualified, for unemployment benefits, experienced an income reduction or other financial hardship due to or during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • They are not current on rent payments or are at risk of eviction.
  • Their total household income is at or below 80% of the area median income.

In addition, participating landlords may not evict tenants for at least 60 days after the assistance ends and must forgive late fees, penalties, interest and court costs.

Seven Louisiana parishes—Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Lafayette, Orleans and St. Tammany—received direct federal funding. Renters located in those parishes must apply for assistance directly through their programs.

Homeowners financially affected by COVID-19 who are behind on their mortgages may also be eligible for assistance through the Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Fund program. This program can provide up to $25,000 in mortgage assistance per eligible household through the American Rescue Plan Act, which allocated $146.7 million to Louisiana.

To apply or learn more about ERAP and HAF, visit lacovidhousing.com. Program hotlines are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at:

  • ERAP Call Center 877.456.6555
  • LA HAF Call Center 833.88.LAHAF (833.885.2423)