Fairfax County Emergency Rent Assistance Program

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Frequently Asked Questions



ERA may be able to provide rental assistance for community members who have experienced a negative financial impact due to or during the Coronavirus pandemic. Tenants may qualify if any of the statements below apply.

  • One or more individuals within the household has qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a financial hardship during the Coronavirus pandemic, including, but not limited to, one of the following:
    • Loss of Income
      • A tenant has been laid off
      • A tenant’s place of employment has closed
      • A tenant has experienced a reduction in hours of work
      • A tenant must stay home to care for children due to closure of day care and/or school
      • A tenant must stay home to care for children due to distance learning
      • A tenant has lost or experienced a reduction in child or spousal support
      • A tenant has been unable to find employment due to COVID-19.
      • A tenant is unwilling or unable to participate in employment due to risk of illness from COVID-19
    • Increase in expenses 
      • A tenant has an increase in childcare expenses
      • A tenant has an increase in medical expenses
      • A tenant has an increase in food costs
      • A tenant has an increase in utility costs
  • The gross household income must be at or below 80% area median income (AMI) based on current month’s income. The determination of income includes any unemployment insurance received by a member of the household but does not include one-time payments such as a stimulus check.
  • The monthly rent is 150% below Fair Market Rent (FMR) 
  • The rental property is in Fairfax County. Properties in the City of Fairfax or the City of Falls Church must apply to the state’s program. 

The Emergency Rent Assistance Program requires the least burdensome documentation possible, while adhering to programmatic, county and federal guidelines. To meet compliance criteria, an applicant must submit the following supporting documentation with their application. 

1. Lease Agreement, include all pages. If a traditional lease is not available, a signed attestation must be provided and include:

  • Tenant’s full name
  • Landlord’s full name
  • Tenant’s complete address 
  • Monthly rent amount
  • Any monthly fees included in the rental payment (e.g., utilities, internet, etc.) 
  • The terms of the lease (i.e., what months and years does the agreement begin and end). 

NOTE: Households living in a hotel/motel/temporary housing can use a billing statement in lieu of a lease and ledger. 

2.  Lease Ledger or billing statement from landlord documenting total amount owed

3.  Federal W-9 to be provided by landlord.

4.  Income documentation for all adult household members

5.  ERA Agreement

6.  Self-Certification of Loss of Income

Past due rent since March 13, 2020, including current month’s rent for eligible tenants can be paid by ERA. Any rent-related fees or expenses must be outlined in the lease agreement to be considered. Utilities billed on the ledger by an apartment complex can be paid through the Landlord Portal. Tenants seeking assistance with utilities not billed on the ledger by the apartment complex should contact Fairfax County Coordinated Services Planning (CSP) to request assistance. 

Having a past due balance is not required for an eligible tenant to receive assistance from ERA.     

  1. Tenants can request rent assistance directly by calling Fairfax County Coordinated Services Planning (CSP) at 703-222-0880, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., OR
  2. Tenants can work with their property manager or landlord to submit an application for assistance via Fairfax County’s Landlord Portal. For assistance with the Landlord Portal, landlords and property managers can call the Eviction Prevention & Intervention Unit at 703-324-5580 or email NCSEvictionSupport@fairfaxcounty.gov

Assistance can be requested for outstanding payments starting March 13, 2020.

A maximum of 18 months of rent and utility assistance may be available based on program guidelines. 

ERA funds may be used to be pay past due rent and current month’s rent on month-to-month leases. Prospective rent cannot be paid for tenants with a month-to-month lease. However, tenants or landlords applying on behalf of tenants may apply each month for assistance if the tenant remains eligible.

An applicant’s citizenship or immigration status is not a factor in determining eligibility for ERA. Fairfax County’s Trust Policy (pdf) states that no county employee will request the citizenship or immigration status of an individual, unless the collection of this information is required by federal law. The ERA application process does not include questions about an applicant’s citizenship or immigration status, and no information about an applicant’s citizenship or immigration status is documented in county records.

Eligible tenants occupying federally subsidized (Housing Choice Voucher, public housing, etc.) or mixed-use property may receive ERA provided ERA funds are not applied to costs that have been or will be reimbursed under any other federal assistance. If an eligible household’s rent is reduced by a monthly federal subsidy, ERA can only be approved for the tenant’s portion of the rent. Recertification documents listing the tenant’s monthly rent obligation for the entire period for which assistance is requested must be submitted with the application. 

Residents who are temporarily staying in a hotel or motel may receive limited ERA assistance for up to 3 months and will be referred to Homeless Services for additional support to access other funds and obtain assistance in securing permanent housing. Incidental fees and taxes are not allowable expenses.

ERA assistance is available for tenants of an RV and/or the rented lot/space, assuming they meet other ERA eligibility requirements.

ERA provides rent and utility assistance. Virginia Housing offers mortgage relief. For more information, visit Virginia Mortgage Relief or contact the VMRP Call Center from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday through Friday at 833-OUR-VMRP (833-687-8677).


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