The ProsperityME Housing Department started in June of 2021 with the hiring of our Director of Housing and two Housing Case Managers and two Housing Sustainability Specialists. The focus for the housing team was (and is still) helping communities with the ERA – Emergency Rental Assistance – applications. The ERA is a federal program that was launched to assist individuals and families struggling to pay rent because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is no longer required to relate financial hardship directly to COVID-19 to apply. It is implicitly assumed that the impact of COVID has affected everyone and eligibility is determined by overall financial hardship.
ERA applications are authorized by CAP agencies such as The Opportunity Alliance and York County Community Action. ProsperityME’s role is to assist the community with language and cultural barriers and help them to apply for the assistance.
Achievements in numbers (Since June - 21)
990 clients have visited and/or called for ERA in 2021
750 families (or individuals) have been assisted by ProsperityME to submit ERA applications and subsequent follow-up.
470 of the above have been authorized, resulting in rental payments for an estimated investment of $2,388,011 back into the community.
Over 300 applications are still in process of approval.
This year, the housing team will expand their activities to helping struggling individuals/families achieve a more sustainable housing stability level through additional services such as, affordable housing search and applications, financial education and housing vouchers.
We also hope to join the home assistance fund to assist homeowners who are also struggling to pay their mortgages.