Department of Public Service

Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program

Renters Apply Here

HELP WITH UTILITY BILLS FOR RENTERS

Eligible Vermont tenants can apply for utility bill assistance beginning in June for help with up to twelve months of past due or current bills (up to a $10,000 maximum combined total).

To participate in the Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program (ERAP) in Vermont (VERAP), renters must attest that: 

  • One or more individuals in the household has experienced a financial hardship  due to the COVID-19 pandemic,
  • One or more individuals in the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, and
  • The household has an income at or below 80% of county median income  
  • Electricity
  • Natural gas
  • Water and sewer
  • Trash removal
  • Fuel oil and other energy costs

If you are applying JUST for utility assistance and NOT applying for rental assistance you will need to fill out the complete rental assistance application and:

  • In the Rent Benefit amount, enter “0” for monthly rent and rent in arrears
  • Say “No” to future rent payments
  • Provide the landlord details and provide the documentation for the lease, which is a general requirement for the program
  • Answer the Utility question
  • Update the utility providers on the Utility screen (you can add as many utilities as applicable)
    • If your utility is not listed, you can let the utility know they will need to register as a provider in order to receive funds from the program.  If they choose not to register, you can receive payment directly.  More information is provided in the VERAP-U APPLICANT AND SUPPLIER FAQS below.

Eligibility For VERAP

Who is eligible for VERAP?

  • Must be obligated to pay rent on a residential dwelling in Vermont. 
  • One or more individuals within the household has qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Must be able to demonstrate risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability. 
  • The household has an income at or below 80% of area median income (AMI) Vermont Income Limits. 

What are the benefits?

  • Rent  
  • Back rent (arrears) to April 1, 2020 
  • Utility bills, including electric and gas, fuel oil, wood, pellet fuels  

What documentation is needed?

  • 2020 W-2s or Income Tax form (e.g., 1040).
  • Current pay stubs (last 2 months)
  • Lease or rental agreement, or letter of attestation from landlord
  • Eviction notice (if applicable)
  • Unemployment Compensation Benefits letter (if applicable)
  • Documentation for other income sources (Social Security or Disability, Child Support, Alimony, Pension as applicable)
  • Legal name of your landlord

Utility Information

VERAP-U APPLICANT FAQs

The application will be available starting 6/2/21 for applicants and for utility providers.

Even if you are receiving rental assistance through VERAP or a Reach-Up program, you may still qualify to receive assistance.

If you already applied for rental assistance and were found eligible, you will also qualify for this program.

Name of the utility provider, name on the account, co-account holder, or alternate name on the account, account number (if known), amount in arrears (if known).

You can receive up to a 12-month benefit for assistance on your utilities.

The following utilities are eligible: electricity, natural gas, fuel (including natural gas, kerosene, diesel, #2 heating oil, biodiesel, propane, coal, firewood, wood pellets), trash removal, water, sewer, water & sewer combinations, compost, and recycling.

Yes, if the tenant can produce evidence of having to pay the bill or having paid the bill.  The vendor will have to certify the amount, etc.

Yes, the utility assistance program can be used on past due balances and prospective payments.

This program is for primary residences only. Residential customers must attest that the grant award that they are seeking is only for financial relief related to their primary residence.

You can apply at the VERAP Applicant Portal. If you already applied for rental assistance, you will only need to fill out a supplemental application.

The program may take about 30-40 days for payment directly to suppliers. This timeline may vary based on several factors including application completion.

Applicants must certify and attest to a COVID-19–related economic hardship. Hardships include unemployment, layoff, reduced hours, health (had COVID or cared for someone with COVID), can’t work because no childcare is/was available, or school is/was closed.

Your utility vendor will be contacted 3 times over 5 days. If they do not respond or choose not to participate in the program, you will receive payment directly. You will receive a notice through your preferred contact method about what information is needed to receive payment directly.

VERAP-U Supplier FAQs

VERAP-U Vendor Portal Training

View the video below for training on how to use the VERAP-Utility Vendor Portal

Upload W-9 to Expedite Payment

The following utilities are eligible: electric, natural gas, fuel (including kerosene, diesel, #2 heating oil, biodiesel, propane, coal, firewood, wood pellets), trash, water, sewer, and water & sewer combinations. You must file a W9 with the State of Vermont.

Yes. If you do this, the participant will receive funds directly.

The program may take up to 30 days for payment directly to providers.

No, this program is based on customers requesting assistance with their utility bills.

  • Eligible number of months in arrears and eligible amount in arrears.
  • Current monthly amount
  • Payment due date

Yes, if the tenant can produce evidence of having to pay the bill or having paid the bill.  The vendor will have to certify the amount, etc.

In support of the continued Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program, we would like to bring to your attention instructions on accessing the Owner Portal, completing questions, and requesting payments for your customers who have applied for Utility Assistance.

Please login to the Owner Portal located at the Owner/Vendor Portal Page

Please register:

  • By using the exact name as it appears on your W-9
  • Entering 9999 as your Tax ID

 

Once logged in, go to the Unit Certifications item in the left hand navigation menu. There you will see a list of customers who have applied for the Utility Assistance program. Complete the questions for each and then enter a payment request for the total amount due in arrears since April 1, 2020. You can also request payment for a current bill which has been invoiced but is not yet overdue. Upload a copy of the invoice that documents the amount in arrears and current bill due, if applicable. Finally, complete the Certification Page and esign.

The VERAP Caseworker will review your requests and schedule payments. If you have not yet provided a W9 and Direct Deposit information at the Vermont Utility Assistance Webpage, you can also upload these forms in the portal.

Please contact the Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Call Center at 833-488-3727 (833-4VT-ERAP) with any questions. The center is open from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday.

If you have not participated in prior emergency utility programs, you must provide your W9 and Direct Deposit information by uploading it here: W/9 Upload.  

Your direct deposit form must be mailed, emailed, or faxed. The direct deposit form contains specific directions to follow to submit the form. Click Here to Download the Direct Deposit form

You may receive funds by check or ACH. You must complete an ACH form with the State of Vermont.  You must complete a W9.

Once the Applicant is determined eligible, the Vendor will receive a notification to login to the Vendor portal and complete the program questions and provide the billing details. Applicants will also receive notifications when their applications have been approved to let them know that their utility supplier will begin receiving payment.

Renters Apply Here

Apply Here

Landlord Information

What is VERAP?

VERAP was created to help renters dealing with financial challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. For eligible households, the program offers rental and utility assistance to help Vermonters avoid eviction or loss of utility service. ERAP was established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.

What does VERAP include?

VERAP helps tenant households with paying rent, past-due rent balances (also known as arrears), utility and home energy costs, utility and home energy cost arrears, and other expenses related to housing. Rent expenses include rent and rent arrears. Utilities include separately billed electricity, gas, water, sewer, trash removal and energy costs, such as fuel oil.  

Having Trouble Applying?

Please don’t get discouraged! 

If you need assistance with the application process, community partners are available to help. 

Click here to find the community partner agency nearest you.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to make improvements to this program and user experience.

Call Center Information

VERAP has provided a call center to answer your questions.
Please call (toll-free)

Call Center 

Monday- Friday: 8:30am-7:00pm

Saturday: 9:00am – 1:00pm