Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA 1)

The Emergency Rental Assistance program makes funding available to assist households that are unable to pay rent or utilities due to COVID-19 hardship.


The City of St. Louis Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA 1) Program is aimed at keeping families in their homes by helping income-eligible renters within the City of St. Louis who are past due in rent or utilities and have suffered financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prospective applicants should plan to apply as soon as possible: the application window for this program will temporarily close once 3,000 applications have been received.

If you have applied for rental assistance, please call 2-1-1 to check on the status of your application.

Volunteers are needed to help the public complete applications for rental assistance. See details and sign up to volunteer.


The funding made available under this program will be used to make direct payments to landlords/utility providers on behalf of qualifying tenants. These payments:

  • May cover a tenant’s documented past-due rent only for the time period after March 13, 2020;
  • Cannot exceed 12 months of assistance based on the household’s need;
  • Utilities addressed via this program include: water and sewer, power, gas.
  • Other housing-related expenses addressed via this program include (on a case-by-case basis):
    • relocation expenses and rental fees of temporarily/permanently displaced households
    • some late fees
    • and other expenses deemed eligible by both the City of St. Louis and the U.S. Treasury.

The ERA 1 Program is intended only for residential tenants. If you are a landlord wanting to apply on behalf of your tenant, please fill out the Missouri Housing Development Commission's SAFHR application here.



To qualify, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a resident of the City of St. Louis.
  • Have a household income that does not exceed 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).
50% and 80% of the St. Louis City Area Median Income (AMI)
Household Size 50% AMI 80% AMI
1 $29,750 $47,550
2 $34,000 $54,350
3 $38,250 $61,150
4 $42,450 $67,900
5 $45,850 $73,350
6 $49,250 $78,800
7 $52,650 $84,200
8 $56,050 $89,650

Note: As per federal regulation, this program prioritizes assistance to households with incomes less than 50% area median income and to households with one or more members that have been unemployed for at least 90 days. The City is also prioritizing those applicants that have received an eviction notice.

  • Due to COVID-19, the applicant or an adult member of their household must have qualified for unemployment, had a reduction in household income, or experienced a financial hardship.
  • Due to COVID-19, the applicant or an adult member of their household must be experiencing housing instability.
  • Submit all the required documentation requested as part of the application or approval process:
    • Proof of St. Louis City residence
    • Head of Household picture ID
    • Written documentation from landlord
    • The household must demonstrate financial hardship due to COVID-19. You will be asked to provide proof of income and a statement explaining how COVID-19 has impacted household income.


Ways to Apply

The application is available online or as a fillable PDF. Completed applications can be submitted in 4 ways:

  • Online
  • Email: Send completed application to 211cares@stl.unitedway.org
  • Mail: Mail or drop off completed application:

    Department of Human Services
    1520 Market Street, #4065
    St. Louis, MO, 63102.
  • Phone: Call 2-1-1 or (800) 427-4626 to apply over the phone
  • In Person: Individuals can apply in-person for rental and utility assistance at the locations below. Residents facing immediate eviction will be prioritized. Make sure to bring all necessary documentation to speed up the process.

View all rental assistance clinics


Additional Application Guidelines

  • The application window for this program will temporarily close once 1,500 applications have been received. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-ready, first-serve basis, with the exception of the priority groups noted above. In the coming weeks, staff will reach out to applicants to collect the required supporting documentation, verify applicant eligibility, and process payments to landlords.
  • The City cannot approve an application for assistance without receiving supporting documentation, including proof of household income, landlord verification, and a lease agreement.
  • Submission of an application does not guarantee that the applicant will receive rental assistance.
  • Guidelines, forms, and other documents related to the ERA 1 Program is subject to change to ensure proper utilization of public funding. The City of St. Louis is working with the United Way on the administration of the ERA 1 Program. That means once an application has been submitted, the applicant may receive emails from 211cares@stl.unitedway.org or one of our partner agencies in reference to their application. Applicants should check their email (including the spam or junk mail folder) and keep an eye on voicemail messages.

Check back here for future program updates.

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