A program administered by
LAKE COUNTY, INDIANA
EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE
The economic crises caused by COVID-19 has created a need for rental and utility assistance throughout Lake County. The Lake County Emergency Assistance (LCERA) program helps renters whose income has been impacted by the pandemic. Please see below for additional information.
WHAT TYPES OF ASSISTANCES ARE INCLUDED IN THE LCERA?
The LCERA may provide up to twelve (12) months of rental, utility, home energy, and internet assistance to renters affected by COVID-19.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
To be eligible for assistance, you must meet all of the following:
1. Your primary residence is within Lake County, Indiana.
2. You must be renting your residence and have a valid signed rental or lease agreement.
3. At least one (1) or more individuals residing in the household meets the following criteria:
a. Qualifies for unemployment OR has experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19;
b. Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; AND
c. Has a household income at or below eighty percent (80%) of Lake County’s median income.
4. Have not received rental or utility assistance that duplicates the assistance sought from the LCERA.
WHAT INFORMATION WILL BE NEEDED TO COMPLETE THE INITIAL APPLICATION?
Before starting the initial application, please be sure to have the following information readily available:
1. The primary email address of the tenant completing the application.
2. The total number of individuals in the residence, along with their names and birthdates.
3. The total annual household income, including the income of all adults living in the residence from all sources (wages, alimony, social security, unemployment, etc…).
NOTE: Household income is determined as either the household’s total annual income for the calendar year 2020 or the monthly income at the time of the application
4. The Name, telephone, and email address of your landlord.
5. Copy of state ID with address that matches the current residence for all adults living at the residence.
6. Proof of renter status (e.g., current written and signed lease).
7. Documentation of income: either your 2020 IRS 1040 tax return, or proof of income for past thirty (30) days (e.g., paystubs,
employment statement, etc…)
8. If seeking rental assistance, documentation that you are behind on rent (e.g., a past due letter from your landlord, a pending court eviction, eviction notice, or similar document).
9. If seeking utility assistance, documentation that you are behind on utilities (e.g., copy of most recent utility bill).
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE APPLICATION IS SUBMITTED?
Once your application has been submitted, it will be assigned to a partner agency to perform an eligibility and documentation review. If any documents are missing or require additional clarification, the partner agency will be your primary contact to assist in the completion of your application. Once an initial review has been completed, your application will be sent for formal administrative review for approval determination. You will receive a notice of approval or non-approval via email.
If you need assistance completing the application form, please click our LIST OF AGENCIES who you may select to assist you.
If you are ready to begin your initial application (and have all the information needed to complete it), please click HERE to begin. You will be required to create an account, complete a short eligibility screening, and if provisionally eligible, complete the initial application.
*The first three weeks of the Lake County Emergency Rental Assistance (LCERA) application process, April 1st through the 21st, will give priority to households who meet the following criteria:
Individual(s) who has been unemployed for 90 days prior to the application for assistance; AND/OR
Individual(s) who has a household income at or below 50% of the area median income
Please note, the processing time of your application varies depending on the submission of all required documents. Check your Submittable account for messages from the LCERA staff for requests or inquiries for documentation, and updates on application status. Please respond timely to requests from the LCERA staff. Application process time varies from 30-45 days.