With additional eviction moratoriums apparently unlikely, renters and landlords are reminded of the steps to take and those to avoid if they hope to qualify for rental assistance through Clark County’s CHAP program.
Specifically, property owners should be aware that evicting a tenant will disqualify them from receiving back rent through the program. Renters should know that if they receive an eviction notice they need to promptly file a response with the local Justice Court identified on the notice and select mediation in their response.
Applicants are also advised to carefully follow the steps in the process, especially when uploading the required documents, and to have patience. While County leaders have added 250 temporary employees to help with this program, the overwhelming number of applications has created an ongoing backlog. However, having a pending CHAP application prevents an eviction so long as the tenant files a response to any eviction notice they receive.
Renters with unpaid back rent are encouraged to visit CHAP.ClarkCountyNV.gov for information about the program and apply for assistance if appropriate. (There is also a video with tips for renters at risk of eviction at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=danUhdys7l8.) Applicants are required to provide financial and other documentation and fall under strict income limits. For example, an eligible household of four could make up to $60,000 a year.
Since July 2020, Clark County has used $162 million in federal grants to fund housing and utility assistance for tens-of-thousands of Southern Nevada families. More than 29,500 households have received housing or utility assistance through the CHAPs program so far and the County continues to receive and process new applications for rental assistance. At this time, the County is processing about 800 applications a week, and about 9,000 applications are pending review. In addition, the County paid past-due electric bills for more than 57,000 local households, and past-due gas bills for about 6,300 local households.
“Since the onset of the pandemic last year, Clark County has invested more than $160 million to keep tens of thousands of our friends and neighbors in their homes, and keep their lights on,” Commission Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick said. “There is still an overwhelming demand for assistance and we will keep working to help our community get through this together.”
County leaders expect to be able to provide more than $130 million in additional rental assistance through this program, which could serve about 38,000 more households. (The majority of those funds have been committed or awarded to the County, but not yet received, although this is not expected to be an issue.)
Tenants who receive an eviction notice should promptly file a response with the local Justice Court identified on the notice and select mediation in their response. Responses may be filed online or via email with some courts. Renters who need assistance with their response, or other steps in the process should contact Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada at (702) 386-1070, or through their website at www.lacsn.org.
Filing a response with the court will trigger additional review by Clark County, which will have a case worker reach out to the tenant, guide them through the County’s CHAP rental assistance program application, and connect them with other resources if necessary.
Already more than 1,500 local households facing eviction have received assistance to keep them housed.
Landlords who participate in the housing assistance and eviction prevention program may receive up to 12 months of back rent owed to them in return for agreeing not to evict the tenant for non-payment of rent for 60 days after receiving payment.
Renters who have already submitted an application through the online CHAP portal are asked to be patient. Applicants are advised not to create multiple accounts or applications as this freezes all of those associated accounts, and prevents the uploading of documents, which delays the review process.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 11th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to 2.4 million citizens and 45.6 million visitors a year (2019). Included are the nation’s 7th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1.1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.