Virginia Rent Relief Program (RRP) Tenant Application Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Virginia Rent Relief Program (RRP) has two ways to apply:

 

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding applications submitted through the RRP Support Center.

 

Eligibility

 

I am currently facing an eviction, what should I do?

If you are being evicted due to nonpayment of rent, have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and you qualify for the Virginia Rent Relief Program (RRP), you should apply for RRP and notify your landlord that you have begun your application for rent relief. If you are currently in the eviction process, it is important to note that fact when you are applying for assistance from RRP. It is also important that you receive legal help, which you can get for free by going here. 
 

How do I find out if I am eligible for assistance from RRP?

DHCD has created an eligibility screening tool. Applicants are strongly encouraged to use this tool to help determine whether they qualify for RRP. The screening tool can be found here: www.dhcd.virginia.gov/eligibility 

 

I am eligible and I already submitted an application, but I need to submit supporting documentation and check the status of my application. How do I do that?

Use your username and password to log into your account to submit documentation or to check application status. Usually, the email you used to create your account is your username. To reset your password go here.

 

How long does it take to process my application?
We are assisting tens of thousands of applicants across the commonwealth. Due to the high volume of applications we receive, delays may be experienced in an application's review and processing for payment. An application can only be reviewed after all documents have been submitted. A complete application is one that has all required paperwork submitted by the landlord and tenant. Applications cannot be processed until all required documents are received.

If a complete application is approved through the RRP Support Center payments are made by check from DHCD
. If an application is made through Virginia Housing, payments are made via direct deposit.

What if a tenant is eligible, but a landlord will not provide needed signatures/documents? 

Tenants should keep the emailed documentation from the RRP Support Center that shows their attempts to contact the landlord requesting assistance. Tenants are encouraged to contact their local Legal Aid office, as DHCD cannot provide legal advice.

 

Students: 

Student housing is an eligible use for RRP funds as long as there is a lease in place between the student and a landlord. Having a cosigner does not affect the eligibility of an application for assistance. 

 

Roommates: 

If multiple roommates live in the same household, but only one roommate needs RRP assistance, they can apply for their portion only. The applicant does not need to include their roommates' income on the application. If eligible, the applicant’s portion of the rent will be prorated and paid directly to the landlord. In this situation, the applicant must submit the Roommate Certification form  to self-certify that they are living with a non-family member.

 

Previous Housing: 

RRP does not provide assistance for expenses incurred at previous rental homes. A tenant may only receive aid for their current housing.

 

If a tenant applies for RRP and is approved, but voluntarily moves out of the unit before the payment is received, can the landlord keep the RRP payment?

If a tenant voluntarily moves out after a completed  RRP application is submitted but before payment is received, the landlord must request and sign the Property Owner Certification of Voluntary Tenant Vacancy form. Upon completion and submission of this certification, the landlord may keep any back rent that is covering months when the tenant was occupying the unit, as well as a daily prorated amount for the month in which the tenant voluntarily moved out. As a reminder, a complete application must include all documents required of both the landlord and tenant.

 

Voucher/Subsidized Housing: Are tenants of federally subsidized housing, e.g. Low Income Housing Credit, Public Housing, or Indian Housing Block Grant-assisted properties, eligible for RRP?

Yes. Applicants with housing vouchers or another form of rental assistance are eligible for RRP, but only for the tenant’s portion of their rent. These households can receive assistance for rent arrears as well as the current month and three future months of rent, as long as the lease covers the three future months.
 

Long-term Stays: Are applicants living in hotels/motels/AirBnB lodging eligible?

Yes, if they have been residents of the hotel/motel/Airbnb for 30 days or more and can provide documentation of their stay using a statement from the proprietor. In these circumstances, a billing statement can be used in lieu of a lease.

 

Manufactured home parks and lot rent: 

Yes, they are eligible for RRP assistance for the home and/or lot that they rent

 

Rent to Own: 

Purchase agreements and rent to own leases are eligible for assistance, but applications using either of these agreement structures must be processed as tenant applications through the RRP Support Center.

 

Eligible Income

 

How is household income defined for purposes of the RRP program? How will income be documented and verified?

RRP determines income eligibility using the household’s current monthly gross income. . In addition, applicants must also provide income documentation for all adult household members, including payments made to an adult on behalf of a child living in the home.

 

For determining current monthly gross income, RRP must obtain income documentation for each adult household member, including payments made to an adult on behalf of a child living in the home. Examples of income documentation include, but are not limited to: paystubs, unemployment compensation statements, SSI/SSDI benefit documentation, etc. If an applicant qualifies based on monthly income, an applicant can reapply for additional assistance every three months, but RRP must re-determine the household income eligibility each time for the duration of assistance.

 

Income Verification

 

Zero Income: 

If an applicant or any adult household member does not have income, a Zero Income Certification must be completed. When a tenant applies through the RRP Support Center, a Zero Income Certification is included within the application. When a landlord applies through Virginia Housing, the Zero Income Certification should be completed by the tenant and submitted by the landlord with the application. As necessary, the applicant must certify zero income for all adult household members.

 

No Bank/Cash Only

If an applicant or adult household member does not use a bank or other financial institution and/or is paid in cash, the Cash Income Certification form must be completed by the applicant. This is done by the applicant by downloading the Cash Income Certification form, completing it, logging into the Support Center website and attaching it to their application. When a landlord applies through Virginia Housing, the Cash Income Certification should be completed by the tenant and submitted with the application.

 

Eligibility Requirements, Supporting Documentation, and Attachments

 

What are the eligibility requirements for the Rent Relief Program (RRP)?

There are three eligibility requirements for RRP. An applicant must:

  • Have a household income less than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI);
  • Been directly or indirectly impacted by Covid-19 with either a decrease in income and/or an increase in expenses, and;
  • Have a monthly rent that is at or below 150% of the Fair Market Rent (FMR)

 

To determine whether you may be eligible for assistance, go here.

 

How must applicants document that they have experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak?

Applicants must document that they have either (i) qualified for unemployment benefits or (ii) experienced a reduction in income, incurred additional costs, or experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to COVID-19 that threatens the household’s ability to pay rent when due. Applicants must select how they have been COVID-impacted from a series of statements that are a part of the application.

 

I’m being asked to submit the RRP Landlord-Tenant Household Agreement. What is that? Where do I find it?

The RRP Landlord-Tenant Household Agreement is the document that provides the terms that both the landlord and the tenant agree to in order to participate and receive assistance from the program. A stand-alone copy of the document is here.

If the landlord’s email has been provided in the tenant’s application at the Support Center, the landlord will receive a secure link where they can upload a copy of the agreement with their signature along with a 
Virginia W-9 so that payment can be issued.

 

If the landlord’s email is not provided with the tenant’s application, these documents must be submitted by email with a subject line that has the tenant’s application number and last name to rrplandlord@deval.us by either the tenant or the landlord. NOTE: Any emails sent to this address that are not related to landlord documents will not be returned.

 

DHCD strongly advises that tenants and landlords cooperate with one another and provide a landlord email. This will  ensure applications are processed in a timely manner and payments are received as quickly as possible.

 

When a tenant submits an application through the Support Center, how does the landlord submit the tenant’s ledger, their Virginia W-9, and sign their portion of the Landlord and Tenant Household Agreement?

When a tenant creates their profile with the Support Center, they are given an application number and are asked for their landlord’s email address. If the landlord’s email is provided, the landlord will receive an email from the Support Center directly with a secure link allowing the landlord to provide the necessary information (i.e. the ledger, RRP Landlord Tenant Household Agreement, and their Virginia W-9) .

 

If a landlord’s email is not provided as part of the tenant application, the landlord and tenant must cooperate and have the landlord email their documents to the Support Center (rrplandlord@deval.us) referencing the application number in the subject line. Not referencing the application number in the subject line will cause delays in processing.

 

Application Status

 

What is the communication with a tenant once an application is entered into the online system?

The RRP Support Center will communicate the application status, including any requests for additional information, via email.

 

Once I apply as a tenant/renter with the Support Center, what happens next?

Once the application is submitted, a confirmation email is sent to the applicant, along with a request for supporting documentation, if needed. Once all documents are received and reviewed, the application is reviewed for approval. When you apply as a tenant/renter, the application requests an email address for your landlord/property manager/owner.

 

The landlord/property owner/manager will receive an email with the RRP Landlord and Tenant Household Agreement with a copy to the applicant. The landlord submits the landlord and tenant household agreement signed by both the landlord and tenant as well as a Virginia W-9 via email to rrplandlord@deval.us with a subject line that includes the tenant’s last name and application number.

 

If I need proof of my application for court or for my landlord, how can I get that?

Login to your account, view your application status, take a screenshot (if you don’t know how to do this, please Google “How to take a screenshot using a PC/Mac/Chromebook/Iphone/Android/or other preferred device”), save the image and then you can email the image as necessary.

 

Are mortgage applications received prior to February 1 still being processed for payment?

This program transitioned on Monday, February 1, 2021 and is no longer accepting mortgage applications.

 

Application Timeline

Once an application is screened for eligibility and the application has all of the required supporting documents, it is deemed complete and undergoes review for approval. A complete application is one that has all required paperwork submitted by the landlord and tenant.

Tenant-initiated applications are processed by the RRP Support Center and payments are issued by DHCD and sent via the U.S. Postal Service. Landlord-initiated applications are processed by Virginia Housing and payments are made via direct deposit

Fraud

What do I do if I suspect an RRP applicant has, intentionally or unintentionally, submitted a fraudulent application or fraudulent supporting documentation?

If you suspect an RRP applicant has, intentionally or unintentionally, submitted a fraudulent application or fraudulent supporting documentation, please email rrpfraud@dhcd.virginia.gov