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RAMP-ERA FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

These FAQs are intended to be a quick-access reference point for common questions, not a substitute for the Mississippi Emergency Rental Assistance Program guidelines or applicable law.

General

Yes, Landlords may initiate an application on behalf of their tenants. After a landlord begins an application, the tenant will receive an email with instructions on completing the application.  The tenant must complete the tenant portion of the application in order for the request for assistance to be complete and considered.

Currently, there is no deadline; however, a deadline will depend on updates to the program guidelines and the availability of funds.

Financial assistance under the program may be provided to eligible households for expenses related to current and past-due rent and/or current and past-due utilities and home energy costs.

You can call the call center at Local: 601-533-8401 or Toll-Free: 1-888-725-0063

Award decisions will be announced via email.  Please ensure the email address you provide in your application is entered correctly and that you check it regularly.

Yes, the notification email on application decisions will tell you the reason(s) your application was not approved.

If your landlord accepts payments from the Program, the landlord has agreed not to evict you for a period of time (from 90 days of receipt of the last payment from the Program), unless for certain, limited reasons, such as criminal activity.

Tenants should inform their landlord of the Program and direct the landlord to ms-ramp.com for information and eligibility requirements.

Financial assistance will be provided directly to the landlord or utility provider, unless the landlord or utility provider refuses to participate in the program.  In those circumstances, payment will be made to the tenant.

No, unless it is determined the information contained within the application was false, fraudulent, or materially misleading.

You will receive confirmation of payment from the program

Documentation

Yes. The original lease, and any relevant amendments or extensions thereto, should be provided.

In order to be considered for the grant, you must submit all required documents.

There is a list of required documents here.

Changes may not be made to an application if the application has been submitted and review has not started.  However, after you submit your application, you may upload additional documentation under “Check my Status.”  If you need to correct an error or reapply for the Program, call local (601-533-8401) or toll free (1-888-725-0063), and you will be directed to someone who can help you.

Eligibility

Yes, if you or a member of your household has qualified for unemployment benefits since March 13, 2020, and can provide documentation of such qualification from the Mississippi Department of Employment or other state unemployment benefits agency.

A month-to-month lease is acceptable if the applicant provides documentation that evidences there is a lease agreement in effect and the amount of monthly rent.

Yes, so long as there is a valid lease agreement and all other eligibility requirements are met.

No, you must currently reside in the unit for which rent is requested.

No, but you must reside there at the time of application.

Past due rent or utilities incurred on or after March 13, 2020, may be paid with Program funds.

No. An applicant may apply for any past due assistance for any months within the March 13, 2020 to the application date timeframe.

No, a household is not eligible if one of the household members is a relative of the landlord, if the landlord is an individual, or if the individual is an owner of the business entity which is the landlord.  “Relative” includes children, parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, including step- and in-laws.

A tenant may still apply for the program if he or she received money from other COVID-19-related relief programs; however, a tenant may not apply for or receive funding from any other source (federal, state, or private) for the rent or utility assistance requested in his or her program application.

Assistance may be provided for a total of up to 12 months (or 15 months when necessary to ensure housing stability, subject to funding availability).

Yes, for up to three months, unless the applicant re-applies and MHC has no funds remaining. All past rent owed must be paid first before rent assistance can be provided going forward.

Emergency rental assistance or utility assistance provided to a household cannot be duplicative of any other federally-funded rental assistance provided to such household.

Harrison County received its own rental assistance funds and are running their program through Open Doors Homeless Coalition. To apply call 228-357-1437. Applications will be accepted here once Harrison County has exhausted all of its funds.

No.  This program only allows assistance to be provided to eligible households who are renters.

Yes, if otherwise eligible. Rental payments for either the manufactured home and/or the parcel of land the manufactured home occupies are eligible for financial assistance.

If HUD does not cover the entire rent amount and the tenant has a payment obligation, then the tenant should apply if they meet other requirements.

Yes, as long as: (1) no member of the household is a signor or co-signor to the mortgage; (2) no member of the household holds the deed or title to the property; and (3) no member of the household has exercised the option to purchase the property.

Application

Generally, the applicant must always provide the following:

1.     Address of the rental unit
2.     Name, address, SSN, and Tax ID number for landlord and utility provider (if requesting utility assistance)
3.     Rental amount owed per month
4.     Utility and home energy costs owed and the amount sought here
5.     Amount of outstanding rental arrears (if any)
6.     Number of months of rental payments and/or utility or home energy costs sought
7.     Household income and number of individuals in the household
8.     Gender, race, and ethnicity of the applicant

Other information may be necessary depending on the specific circumstances of the household.

No. At this time, the Program is only accepting applications through ms-ramp.com, but please contact (Local: 601-533-8401 or Toll-Free: 1-888-725-0063) if you need assistance.

Yes, upon request, reasonable accommodations will be made available to permit disabled individuals to fully participate in the process.

Yes. You may enter your login information on the application website to check the status of your application.

You will be notified following a full review of your application and accompanying documentation. Timing may vary depending on the participation of your landlord and/or utility provider and on the volume of applications.

Yes.  The Program provides priority to households with incomes less than 50% of area median income or households with at last one individual who has been unemployed the for the 90-day period preceding the date of the application.

Currently, there is no electronic signature capability for the forms.  Applicants are required to print the forms, sign as indicated, and upload the documents.

Utilities

The Program will provide assistance for up 15 months and will not provide payments for past due rent or utility costs incurred prior to March 13, 2020.

A copy of a bill or invoice for each utility provider showing the name and address of the provider, the name and address of the customer, the account number and the servicer dates.

Electricity, gas, water and sewer, trash removal, and energy costs, such as fuel oil.

Landlords

Yes. After a landlord submits an application, the tenant will receive an email with instructions on completing the application.  The tenant must complete the tenant portion of the application in order for the request for assistance to be complete and considered.

Landlords can register as many tenants as they believe meet the eligibility requirements.  The Program will prioritize applications as required by the Act.

No, this is strictly a landlord requirement.

Yes, if the application is submitted while the tenant resides in the unit.  If the landlord and/or tenant do not anticipate that the tenant will continue to reside in the unit, the tenant should not apply for future rent.

No, the Program requires that the tenant currently reside at the property.

If you have instituted eviction proceedings but have terminated those proceedings prior to submitting an application, then you may still apply.

The Program application is electronic; therefore, no paper applications will be accepted.  Applicants should explore all available options with regard to application access and submission; however, if this is not a viable option, applicants should call 1-888-725-0063 and request to be connected with an Application Access Specialist who will reach out directly to the applicant to provide assistance.