The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has left households across the country struggling to pay bills and basic utilities. And, although the government stepped in with the $25 billion Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program, there has been one big problem: how to best get the money to those who need it most.
Enter rental assistance software. This solution offers a comprehensive, easy-to-follow method to apply for — and get — the funds that renters need.
Specifically, the ERA provides funds directly to states, local governments, territories and Native American tribes, which then administer the funds to eligible households for up to 12 months of assistance. If necessary, renters may also be eligible for an additional three months of assistance, but only as funds are available.
How to Apply for Emergency Rental Assistance
Two parties can apply for ERA: 1) a tenant or 2) a landlord on behalf of a tenant. Typically, the funds are paid directly to the landlord and/or utility providers that are covered by the ERA. However, if a landlord decides not to participate in the program, then the funds can be paid directly to the tenant.
Rental Assistance Software Simplifies Distribution Process
Rental assistance software — in particular, Rent Relief by Yardi — was created to help states, territories, local governments and Native American tribes streamline the process of dealing with applications, approvals, distribution and auditing. This cloud-based software is accessible, transparent and efficient — which helps those who need the funds get them more easily.
Rent Relief Takes Pressure Off Local Governments
There’s no question that state and local agencies are thrilled to help their citizens via the ERA. But, these are also the agencies that are already overburdened in these trying times. That’s where Rent Relief comes in. It’s rental assistance software that truly makes the process easy by allowing tenants to apply online for ERA funds.
Then, they can then watch their application move through the process in real-time, so they always know what stage it is in. Plus, landlords can also use this rental assistance software on behalf of their tenants. The entire system makes it easier for local agencies to process these applications and get the funds to those who need them most.
Additional Benefits with Yardi’s Rent Relief
Rent Relief is cloud-based and comes with a long list of benefits to users, including:
- An online application process
- Built-in communication functions to get secure, accurate information directly to applicants
- Audit functionality to help ensure funds are released in a timely, accurate and compliant manner
- A case management interface that makes it simple to track statuses, applications and approvals
- The ability to distribute payments by providing approved funds directly to the household, landlord or utility provider
- Reporting functionality that simplifies internal and external reviews of the program implementation
- A simple process that takes just days, not months
- A 24-hour support network provided by real estate software leader Yardi
Yardi Brings Wealth of Experience to the Process
This isn’t the first time that Yardi has taken a stand to help in crisis situations. In 2016, the company worked with the government of Alberta to create a searchable, simple-to-use housing registry after more than 2,000 homes were lost in a wildfire. The following year, it created a similar registry and hotline for victims of Hurricane Harvey, in addition to donating $1 million in disaster relief.
In fact, this is not even the first time that Yardi has helped during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization also donated $1 million to the rental support resources for the COVID-19 Rental Housing Support Initiative. Yardi’s long history of finding unique ways to support businesses — and of putting its money where its priorities are — is one of the reasons the company is the perfect partner for creating rental assistance software.
Yardi® develops and supports industry-leading investment and property management software for all types and sizes of real estate companies. Established in 1984, Yardi is based in Santa Barbara, Calif., and serves clients worldwide. For more information on how Yardi is Energized for Tomorrow, visit yardi.com.