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.
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.
Eligible tenants can apply for utility bill assistance for help with up to months of past due or current bills ($10,000 maximum combined total).
To participate in the Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program (ERAP) in Vermont (VERAP), renters must attest that:
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:
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).
This program allows for a maximum of 15 months of payments per utility type, which can be extended to 18 months of benefit if your household remains eligible for the program.
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 utility is not included in the lease agreement as part of the rent.
Yes, the utility assistance program can be used on past due balances and current 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.
View the video below for training on how to use the VERAP-Utility Vendor Portal
If you have not participated in prior emergency utility programs, you must provide your W9 and ACH information by emailing it firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
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.
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.
You will receive funds by paper check or direct deposit from the State of Vermont. You must complete a W9.
Once an Applicant is approved for the program, the Vendor will be able to view this through the Vendor Portal and can begin to submit payment requests. Applicants will also receive notifications when their applications have been approved to let them know that their utility supplier will begin receiving payment.
Please don’t get discouraged!
If you need assistance with the application process, community partners are available to help.
Thank you for your patience as we continue to make improvements to this program and user experience.
PO BOX 2348
Hartford, CT 06101-9951
Monday- Friday: 8:30am-7:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 1:00pm