Your source for expert information on housing in South Dakota

What is the Emergency Rental Assistance Program?

This past year has been tough to say the least. The pandemic has not only affected the health of people, but also the wealth of people. Housing has become an issue for many, and paying rent has become harder. Luckily, something’s being done about it.


At the beginning of the new year, congress passed a COVID-relief package that includes $25 billion specifically allocated toward rental and utility assistance, called the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Every state and many tribal areas received funding for this program. South Dakota is one of the states currently taking applications. Get the rental assistance you need with the help of SDHDA.

Here’s what you need to know about the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

What is the Emergency Rental Assistance Program?

Part of the latest Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 funding, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program was provided to fight against housing instability and homelessness. The amount of assistance received will reflect each household’s circumstance. If determined necessary, applicants may receive as much as 12 months of rental and or utility assistance. Because of this program, there is no limit on the dollar amount of assistance provided for each month.

Am I Eligible?

The criteria for being eligible is pretty straightforward. To be eligible, the applicant must:

  • Be a South Dakota resident
  • Legally reside in the United States
  • Be financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Have current household income that does not exceed 80 percent Area Median Income for renter households, as outlined on the Rental Income Guidelines
  • Owe past due rent or utilities (water, sewer, electricity, propane/natural gas, trash)or have difficulty paying rent going forward

How Do I Apply?

To start the process, you’ll need to complete the application and submit the required documentation. A caseworker will review your file to determine eligibility and provide assistance if qualified. SDHDA is partnering with the following agencies to assist households, process applications and disburse financial aid.

For more information on South Dakota’s program for emergency rental assistance, visit the SD Cares Housing Assistance Program page. For more information on the national Emergency Rental Assistance Program’s parameters to states, visit this Department of Treasury page. No one should ever have to worry about where they’ll put their head down at night. SDHDA is here to help keep families in their homes.

Topics: Renting

Subscribe to Our Housing Newsletter

Recent Posts

Free Home Buyers Guide Download