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

These are some of the FAQs that tenants/renters have had regarding applications they submit via the RRP Support Center.

 

Eligibility

 

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

There is currently a national moratorium on eviction issued by the CDC for non-payment of rent that protects some residential tenants who have fallen behind on rent from being evicted. This moratorium is not automatic and there are steps tenants must take to avoid an eviction. You must sign a declaration of eligibility and deliver it to your landlord or person with legal right to possession of the property. Please see the CDC FAQ for information on the process and if this applies to you.

If you are currently in the eviction process, it is important to note that 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. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to answer the questions as part of 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.

 

How long does it take to process my application?
Most completed applications take about 10-12 business days to process after all needed documentation has been submitted. A complete application is one that has all required paperwork submitted by the landlord and tenant. 

This timeline may be impacted as there are new income documentation requirements per guidance issued from the U.S. Treasury on January 19, 2021 and RRP will be conducting outreach with all outstanding applications to get required documentation from the tenants.

If a complete application is approved through the RRP Support Center payments are made by check from DHCD and put in the mail for delivery by the U.S. Postal Service within 3-4 business days. 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 are encouraged to keep the emailed documentation from the RRP Support Team that demonstrates their attempts to contact the landlord requesting assistance. Tenants are encouraged to advise the landlord to apply via the Virginia Housing website and to contact their local Legal Aid office, as DHCD cannot provide legal advice.

 

Students: Student housing is not an eligible use for RRP funds. However, if both student and parent are on the lease, they should identify a primary applicant. All adults will have to meet the program requirements.

 

Roommates: If multiple roommates live in the same household, but only one roommate needs RRP assistance, he/she can apply for his/her portion. The applicant does not need to include roommates' income on the application. If eligible, the portion of the rent will be prorated and paid directly to the landlord.

 

Previous Housing: RRP does not provide assistance for expenses incurred at previous rental homes. A tenant may only receive aid for their current housing rent/fees.

 

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?

Applicants with housing vouchers or another form of rental assistance are eligible for RRP funds but only for the tenant portion of their arrears - not the current or future months’ rent.
 

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

Yes, if they have been residents of the hotel/motel/Airbnb for 60 days or more and can provide documentation of their stay then the rental agreement can be used in lieu of a lease.

 

Manufactured home parks and lot rent: Yes, they are eligible for RRP assistance.

 

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 monthly income at the time of application. In addition, applicants must also provide income documentation for all adult household members for at least the two months prior to the application’s submission.

 

For determining monthly income, RRP must obtain income source documentation (Examples include, but are not limited to: wage statement, interest statement, unemployment compensation statement). If an applicant qualifies based on monthly income, RRP must re-determine the household income eligibility every three months for the duration of assistance.

 

 

 

 

Income Verification

 

Zero Income: Zero Income certification is included within the application. As appropriate, the applicant must certify zero income for all adult household members. This is done by the applicant within the Support Center’s application.

 

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 the application.

 

Supporting Documentation and Attachments

 

In addition to providing an attestation in writing, 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?

Yes, to the extent administratively feasible, applicants must document that they have (i) qualified for unemployment benefits or (ii) experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to COVID-19 that threaten the household’s ability to pay the costs of the rental property when due. Applicants must demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, which may include past due rent and utility notices and eviction notices, if any, as part of the application process.

 

Since the application process changed in mid-December, Attachment A is no longer required. The applicant checks a statement within the online system that gives the RRP Support Center consent to contact landlords/mortgage companies and other identified persons in regard to the application.

 

I’m being asked to submit Attachment C. What is that? Where do I find it?

Attachment C is another name for the Landlord and Renter Household Agreement.

If the landlord’s email has been provided in the tenant’s application, this document is sent by email to the landlord with a request to complete it for the tenant’s application after all other documentation is received. This Agreement is then submitted 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 rmrplandlord@deval.us by either the tenant or the landlord.

 

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. The landlord can email their documents to the Support Center (rmrplandlord@deval.us) referencing the application number in the subject line. If the landlord’s email is provided, they will directly receive an email from the Support Center about the necessary information they need to provide after the tenant has completed their portion of the application and submitted all necessary documentation that is required of them.

 

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. After ALL tenant/renter documentation has been received and attached to an application, the landlord/property owner/manager will receive an email with the 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 rmrplandlord@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. If you submitted an application for mortgage assistance prior to February 1, please contact rrp@dhcd.virginia.gov.

 

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. Most completed applications take about 10-12 business days to process after all needed documentation has been submitted. A complete application is one that has all required paperwork submitted by the landlord and tenant.

This timeline may be impacted as there are new income documentation requirements per guidance issued from the U.S. Treasury on January 19, 2021 and RRP is conducting outreach with all outstanding applications to get the newly required documentation from tenants.

If an application is made through the Support Center, once processed, payments are made by check from DHCD and put in the mail for delivery by the U.S. Postal Service within 3-4 business days. If an application is made through Virginia Housing, payments are made via direct deposit.