Q+A for Landlords: Georgia Rental Assistance Program Part One
In an effort to connect with the community, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) invited landlords from across the state to attend a live webinar session on May 4. DCA took landlords through the application process for the Georgia Rental Assistance program and held a live question-and-answer session. Below is Part 1 of the questions from landlords that were asked during the webinar. These questions cover topics such as information about the GRA program and the application. Part 2 of the series is here.
To access the webinar recording, please click here.
How long will it take for DCA to process my application?
At this time, DCA is not providing any lengths of time around when applicants will receive funding. The time this takes varies heavily depending on the details of an application. Disbursements will take as long as necessary to ensure proper documentation is collected and verifications are conducted per Treasury guidance. The quickest way to receive disbursements is to promptly and correctly complete all required W-9 and ACH information.
Does GRA cover rent and utilities?
How far back does GRA cover arrears?
Rental arrears can be covered up to 12 months. No arrearages can be addressed prior to March 13, 2020.
How and when could some of my residents that want to stay get your help or assistance enrolling them into the program?
If the renter would like assistance completing the application, our program has partner agencies that will assist. We can provide a list of agencies in the area and the renter has the option to choose the agency. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of our renters has COVID but never got behind on her rent; but, due to a maintenance issue, they received a very large utility bill because we could not enter her residence. Would she be able to apply for help for this?
A renter needs to have rental arrears for GRA to cover late utility payments.
How do we get the list of locations approved for this program?
The list can be found here. This FAQ provides a list of the counties not served by this program toward the bottom of the page.
Does unemployment need to be related to COVID?
The renter must demonstrate that the hardship is related to COVID.
Is the Georgia Rental Assistance program available to only heads of households?
The funds for Georgia Rental Assistance can only be distributed one time per household, and the money goes to the landlord and utility service providers, not the renter.
Can a person who is in a lease-to-purchase option qualify for assistance?
Georgia Rental Assistance can only cover renters.
Will the emergency assistance open to any of the metro Atlanta counties/ jurisdictions?
Treasury has released extensive policy guidance that states and local governments are expected to follow. The decision to not fund statewide from day one is designed to comply with this guidance. Currently, many metro Atlanta counties have their own funding, but DCA does anticipate providing rental assistance in these areas later if funds are available. However, DCA is unable to determine at this time, but our website will have the most up-to-date information regarding this.
How long will the program be in place?
The Georgia Rental Assistance program will last until September 30, 2022, or until the funds are distributed – whichever comes first.
Is DCA expecting more funding from the US Government?
Yes, and more information will be provided later.
What counties are covered under DCA's Emergency Rental Assistance Program?
Every area in the state of Georgia except: City of Atlanta, Augusta-Richmond County Consolidated Government, Chatham County, Cherokee County, Clayton County, Cobb County, DeKalb County, Forsyth County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Hall County, and Henry County. Information on rental assistance programs in these areas can be found at georgiarentalassistance.ga.gov/faq.
What are some good marketing strategies to get the word out on the Emergency Rental Assistance Program?
Email email@example.com requesting an outreach kit that includes information such as GRA flyer, GRA website and blog links, social media captions, and graphics.
How do we go back to the Landlord Portal?
To access your Landlord Portal, click here to log in.
The system will not allow for us to put in multiple entities on the portal. How can we process when it allows only one email per entity?
For landlord applicants, landlords will need to only use one email address for their profile. If there are multiple people on the landlord side who are accessing your application, those people will need to use the same login information.
If we work for a management company and are not the ownership group, does the ownership group need to complete the application instead of us?
A management company may complete the application on behalf of the landlord, but we will need all documentation to come from the landlord (W-9, ACH, Proof of Ownership).
Do we have to apply every month?
No, you only need to apply one time.
Is it best for the landlord or the renter to start the application?
Both the landlord and renter need to complete separate applications in its entirety.
Is there an option to mail in a paper application or fax it in?
Yes, there is an option on the website to print out and mail/fax a paper application.
Where do I sign up my properties?
What happens if the landlord has already completed an application for a resident in the landlord portal, then later find that more documents are needed to process the application? Should we create a new application for the resident and delete the incorrect app that was previously submitted?
In this situation, the existing application is sufficient, and applicants can update documents on their application.