Utility Assistance Program for Renters

The Department of Public Service and Vermont State Housing Authority have $12.7 million available to assist renters through the Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program for Utility Services (VERAP-U). Water and sewer bills for eligible renters or landlords are included in this new program.

Rental assistance is currently open. Utility assistance is anticipated to be opened by May 1.

This program is separate from the Vermont COVID Arrearage Assistance Program (VCAAP) which assisted any utility customer with overdue bills and ended December 15, 2020.

Information for Utilities

Water and wastewater utilities that participated in VCAAP will automatically be enrolled in VERAP-U. If you need to update your contact information, email Riley Allen Riley.Allen@vermont.gov

Utilities that were not enrolled in VCAAP will be contacted by DPS if a customer application is received.

When a customer application is approved, the payment will be made directly to the utility.

Watch a recording of the Q&A session

Linkhttps://zoom.us/rec/share/RUOma8ZecMldDYNnVoGm7hb170-5XrxgTbJhekdmwkqkmn6trzALWmIW38vSl5Cy.b7uN9j9qBVXQQEZe
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Note: presentation starts at 21:38
Download Powerpoint presentation

Training

DPS will be holding a training session for reviewers. When this is scheduled it will be posted here and emailed to enrolled reviewers.

Questions

Contact the Consumer Affairs & Public Information (CAPI) Division at psd.consumer@vermont.gov or call 800-622-4496 or 802-828-2332.

Customer Eligibility

This funding is available to cover rent and utility bills for residential renters who:

  • are at or below 80% of area median household income;
  • have experienced unemployment, loss/reduction of income, or other financial hardship due to COVID-19;
  • and face a risk of homelessness or housing instability.

Renters can receive up to 12 months of assistance for services rendered on or after April 1, 2020.

Landlords can work with eligible tenants to apply for payment of bills that are included in rent.

DPS is reviewing cases where the water and/or sewer account is in the landlord’s name but the tenant is responsible for payment of the bills. More information will be posted here when it is available.

Renters can apply at erap.vsha.org or call 833-488-3727. A copy of utility bills will need to be submitted.