Distribution of Funds
Landlord Specific Questions
To be eligible for the Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program applicants must:
- reside full-time in West Virginia
- be 18 years of age or older
- rent their primary residence in the State of West Virginia
- demonstrate a loss of income or economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic OR have a household member that has qualified for unemployment compensation since March 13, 2020.
- have a total household income that does not exceed 80% of the HUD Area Median Income (AMI) limits* for 2020
- have one member of its household that can demonstrate a risk of homelessness or housing instability that began after March 13, 2020.
Household members include all adults and children living in the unit, including the following;
- Children temporarily absent due to placement in a foster home
- Children in joint custody who live in unit at least 50% of the time
- Children away at school but live with the family during recess
- Unborn children of pregnant women
- Children in the process of being adopted
- Temporarily absent family members who are still considered family members
- Family members in the hospital or rehab facility for limited or fixed time
- Persons permanently confined to a hospital or nursing home.
Does not include live-in aides, guests or individuals living in the unit with a separate lease.
No, MRAP assists those renting their primary residence. The program does not provide any assistance to those who own their homes.
Income from all household members 18 years and over and covered by the same lease is included. Income can be determined using your 2020 Form 1040-Federal Income Tax Return or income documents for the past 60 days, such as pay stubs, unemployment statements, social security statements and other benefit statements.
To obtain unemployment statements please visit: https://pua.workforcewv.org/vosnet/loginintro.aspx?plang=E
Yes. Unemployment benefits count as income for this program except for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which provides an extra $300 (formerly $600) in benefits each week, through the week ending Sept. 4, 2021.
Past due rents dating back to April 1, 2020 and up to three future rental payments are available. If eligible for the program, you may request up to three months of forward rent even if you are not delinquent.
Additionally, past due utilities dating back to April 1, 2020 including electricity, gas, water, sewer, trash removal, and bulk energy costs are eligible.
A one-time, maximum $300 stipend will be allowed for internet services.
No. Applicants, if approved, are eligible for missed/delinquent rent payments back to April 1, 2020, the current month rent and up to 3 months of future rent payments. Except for limited circumstances, rent payments will be made directly to landlords and not to tenants. Also, your landlord will be asked to confirm the amount of rental assistance payments requested.
Yes, late fees up to a maximum of $30 per month are eligible for MRAP assistance. As a condition of accepting MRAP assistance, the landlord must agree to waive any late fees due by the tenant that total over $30 per month.
No. You cannot be reimbursed for rent payments you have already made. However, you may still be eligible for past due, current and future rent amounts that have not yet been paid.
No, renters do not need to apply for both types of assistance. Renters may apply for one or both depending on the renter’s situation.
No, there is no maximum on the dollar amount of MRAP assistance.
Property must be the renter’s primary residence. Property may be an apartment, house, condominium, or mobile home.
Renters that have an ownership interest in their primary rental residence (including, but not limited to, lease-to-own agreements, lease purchase agreements, lease with option to purchase agreements, or land contracts) are NOT eligible.
To be accepted as a valid rental agreement, the renter’s primary address must be different from the landlord’s address and a written lease is required. Renter must also provide evidence of a history of past rental payments to the landlord and utility payments to a utility provider. Examples may include cancelled or cleared checks, credit card statements, or bank statements.
Definition of related for MRAP: The spouse, parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, including steps, and in-laws; and any person cohabitating with any of the people identified above.
Yes, if a tenant rents a trailer home or owns the trailer and rents the lot, you may be eligible for assistance on the rental portion. Utility payments for those renters living in trailer homes may also be eligible.
If the applicant is not related to the landlord or any employee of the landlord, a Certification of Landlord/Tenant Relationship form, completed by both the tenant and landlord may be submitted only if a written lease agreement is not available.
Yes, if the applicant is not related to the landlord or an employee of the landlord, the tenant may complete the Tenant’s Self-Certification of Lease only if a formal, written lease does not exist and the landlord cannot or will not sign the Certification of Landlord/Tenant Relationship . The tenant must also provide evidence that the household has paid rent and utilities in place of a lease agreement.
Yes, households that receive federal or state rent subsidies (where a percentage of the rent is paid by the household and the balance is subsidized by the government) are eligible for rental and utility assistance for the portion paid by the tenant. If the subsidy can be adjusted based on changes in the household’s income, the adjustment must be made to reflect the household’s current income prior to receiving MRAP rental assistance.
Please contact your landlord or public housing authority if you have questions about the type of rental assistance you receive.
No, utilities paid by the landlord are considered part of your rent. You may be eligible for utilities that are not covered/not included in your rent.
MRAP funds will not be awarded for rents or utilities that have been or will be reimbursed under any other federal, state or local assistance program. However, eligible households may qualify for MRAP assistance for eligible expenses that are not covered by another source.
Yes, new renters are eligible. Residency length is not a factor in eligibility for MRAP. If you have signed a new lease and are eligible for the program, you can request up to three months future rent to help you get started.
No, applicants need only to provide certain identifications requested in the application form.
Applicant eligibility is based on the household and all parties to a lease are considered a household. Therefore, all roommates on the same lease, must individually meet qualifying criteria in order to receive MRAP assistance. Roommates with separate leases must qualify independently for MRAP assistance.
All required documents must be provided before an application can be completed. Having all of your documents ready when you begin your application will make the application process easier and will allow MRAP team members to begin reviewing your application to provide your assistance.
No, an application is not a guarantee of assistance. Only fully completed applications that provide all required documentation will be reviewed for eligibility.
Applicants who receive a notice of incomplete application with instructions to provide missing information must successfully provide all necessary information to move their application forward. Funding will not be reserved for incomplete applications. Applicants who fail to provide all required information or are found ineligible based on the program’s requirements will not receive assistance.
Applications that could be considered eligible may not receive assistance if funding is no longer available under the program.
Applications will be reviewed and approved after a complete application, including supporting documents, is received.
As required under the MRAP program, a pool of funds is set aside to assist those with household income at or below 50% of Area Median Income (AMI)* or where at least one household member has received unemployment compensation for at least 90 days prior to application date.
Factors used to determine those most in need include the following: those with the lowest incomes; those who have been unemployed the longest; those who have the highest need for assistance compared to their income; those facing eviction; those with multiple household members unemployed; those farthest behind on rent and utilities and those with utilities that have been disconnected.
Yes, you will be notified if you are ineligible, and the reason will be provided.
The MRAP is waiting on your landlord/property manager to accept your application. Please contact your landlord to request that they accept your application.
No but telling your landlord may expedite the review process. MRAP staff will attempt to contact your landlord to request their cooperation in the application process.
No, landlords cannot apply on your behalf, but they may register your rental property and your name in the landlord application portal. If your landlord registers your name before you apply, you will get a message that someone has registered you and you will be asked to reset your password. You will then be redirected to the tenant application.
PDF or JPEG files can be submitted. Please make sure your PDF or JPEG files are clear and easy to read. You can preview your documents after upload to review before submitting.
If a document is unclear, applicants will be contacted to re-submit information and cause a delay in processing your application.
Before a landlord can receive a rental payment, they must certify that they will not evict the household for nonpayment of rent for any periods prior to and including the months of assistance received through the MRAP program.
Please submit an email to firstname.lastname@example.org explaining the error and providing the correct information. Be sure to include your first and last name and complete address in the email. In the subject line of your email include “MRAP APPLICATION CORRECTION.”
- Notify your landlord that you have applied for assistance under MRAP.
- Log into your application at any time to check its status.
- Check your email inbox frequently (at least daily), including the spam folder, to make sure you are seeing, and responding to, any communications that may have been sent by the program processor handling your application.
The Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program (MRAP) is managed by West Virginia Housing Development Fund (WVHDF). The WVHDF has contracted with partner organizations to provide administrative support under the MRAP program. These partner organizations may contact applicants to request follow-up information.
After you fill out your application and upload all requested documents, you must complete the application by selecting “Done” at the bottom of the final page. Incomplete applications will not be processed.
Once an application is completed, it may take 2-4 weeks for approval. Please check your email frequently for messages requesting additional information to keep your application moving through the approval process.
Eligible applicants can receive past due or current rent and/or past due or current utility assistance for payments due after April 1, 2020 and up to the date of their application for assistance. Renters may also be eligible for future rent payments in 3-month increments even if you are not behind on rent at the time of your application.
Yes. Assistance may be provided for a total of 12 months, or up to 15 months of rental assistance if it is determined this level of assistance is required to maintain housing stability and funding is available. Participating renters may be required to update their applications to verify eligibility requirements.
If you have already been approved for assistance under MRAP, you may reapply in 90 days if you have not received the maximum assistance allowed under the program.
No. Payments are made directly to the landlord for past-due rent, current rent due, or future rent payments.
Typically, applicants will not receive direct assistance payments. Assistance will be paid directly to landlords or applicable utility companies who will apply payments to the renter’s account. However, if a landlord does not cooperate, the MRAP can pay the assistance directly to the applicant. In these cases, it is the responsibility of the applicant renter to pay the assistance to their landlord. Internet stipends may be paid directly to applicants.
Applicant’s sensitive information will be protected at all times and coded to ensure duplicate payments are not made.
No. However, MRAP participants who falsified documentation required by the program or received duplicate benefits, will be required to repay assistance. MRAP participants who received assistance for future rent payments but moved before the date on which their future rental assistance was calculated, will be required to repay all or a portion of the assistance they received.
Distribution of Funds
Both the participant and landlord will receive notification that the rental payment has been made. However, participants may wish to contact their landlord for confirmation.
Please contact the MRAP organization that processed your application to verify that payment was directed to the correct address or account.
No. Your landlord will be required to repay any rental assistance which cannot be applied to your current lease due to termination of the lease by either party.
No. Rent and utility payments paid under the MRAP program on your behalf, or in limited instance paid directly to you, are no considered taxable income to the members of the household.
Landlord Specific Questions
No, but landlords are encouraged to complete their portion of the application confirming information provided by the tenant and making certifications not to evict the tenant for lack of rental payment.
No, landlords cannot apply on your tenant’s behalf, but you may register your rental property and your tenants name in the landlord application portal. When the tenant completes their application and are approved, landlords will be notified to go to the portal and review the rental assistance requested.
Yes. The W-9 provides correct tax identification number for possible reporting of income to the IRS. It also ensures correct name and address for payment purposes.
Yes, late fees up to a maximum of $30 per month are eligible for MRAP assistance if late fees are allowed under a written lease. All late fees in excess of $30 per month must be waived.
Yes, a *Certification of Landlord/Tenant Relationship form is provided and must be completed by both the tenant and landlord. Note – this option is not available for applicants who are related to the landlord or an employee of the landlord and a written lease is required.
As a condition of the MRAP, landlords must agree not to evict tenants for thirty days after the receipt of MRAP assistance for non-payment of rent.
Yes. Rental payments you receive, either from the tenant or on your tenant’s behalf, are includible in your gross income.