Saint Louis Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program

The Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program is intended for those disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Saint Louis and its partners are running this rental assistance program to address the hardship faced by our community. 

Funds are available for past due, current due, future rent, and utilities. This web page will share information about the application process, provide FAQs for tenants and property owners, and share simple resources that simplify this process.

If you need help with this online application, please email us at FORWARD-support@livestories.com or call us at 1-855-582-3973. 

Tenants can now apply online via the FORWARD portal.

Please click the button below, fill out your profile, answer questions, upload supporting documents, and submit your application!

Applications are now open!

Eligibility Requirements

Households must meet all four of the initial screening criteria to be eligible for rental assistance: 


• One or more individuals within the household has qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship during or due, directly or indirectly, to the coronavirus pandemic.


• You have current housing instability or risk of housing instability, which may include rental arrears or anticipation of inability to pay future rent.


• Your household income is at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) – Refer to the table below for Income Limit.


• Your household resides within Saint Louis – Click Here for a map of Saint Louis neighborhoods.


* We prioritize assistance to households with income that does not exceed 50 percent of the area median income for the household, or where one or more individuals within the household are unemployed as of the date of the application for assistance and have not been employed for the 90-day period preceding such date.

Required Documents

The following documents will be used to verify your eligibility: 


• Proof of income, including pay stubs, W-2s or other wage statements, 2020 tax filings, or bank statements demonstrating regular income.


• Proof of a current lease or documentation of residence showing evidence that establishes a pattern of paying rent.


• Proof of past due rent or utility notice or eviction notice.


• Proof of identification (types of identity documentation):

• State Driver's License / State ID

• Tribal Identification Card

• Birth Certificate

• Military ID

• Passport Book or Card

• U.S. Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization

• U.S. Permanent Resident Identification

• Consular Identification

• U.S. College/University Identification Card

• Corporate Identification

• Other documents with the applicant's name and address sent by the state, government entity, or utility company may also qualify.

You can store documents in your profile so that you can easily find them to include in your applications. These file formats are supported: .doc, .docx, .gif, .jpeg, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .xls, and .xlsx

Please note that you might still qualify for assistance if you do not have these documents. Contact us so we can assist you with the application.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the eligibility requirements?

Households who rent their home/apartment must meet four Saint Louis Emergency Rental assistance criteria:

i. One or more individuals within the household are obligated to pay rent or have rental arrears (past due) on a residence located in Saint Louis.

ii. Total household income is equal to or less than eighty percent (80%) of the area median income (AMI).

iii. One or more individuals within the household who have qualified for unemployment insurance benefits; or experienced financial loss due, directly or indirectly, to COVID-19.

iv. One or more individuals within the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness, or housing instability.

What is the application process?

After submitting your application, it will move through the following five steps:

1. Application Review

2. Tenant Outreach - someone will contact you if more information is needed.

3. Eligibility Determination - your application moves to the next step if you meet the eligibility criteria. If not, you will receive a written denial which you can appeal.

4. Landlord Outreach

5. Payment Processing

What if I have previously applied but have not heard anything? 

If you have already applied to a previous round and haven't heard back, you might already be set up with an account. You do not need to sign up for a new account. Please contact us at forward-support@livestories.com so we can confirm if you have an account.

How do I check the status of my application?

If you would like to check on the status of your application, please log into your FORWARD account and click the "My Applications" tab to see your status.

How will I know if I meet the Saint Louis income eligibility requirements?

Suppose your total household income equals or less than 80% of the area median income (AMI). In that case, you meet the income eligibility requirements. Your AMI depends on how many people live in your household.

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to apply for the Saint Louis Emergency Rental Assistance Program? Or age limit?

No. United States citizenship is NOT an eligibility requirement of this program.

You must be 18 Years or older to apply. Or you are legally emancipated if  you are under 18 years of age.

How many months does Emergency Rental Assistance cover?

Eligible renters may receive up to eighteen (18) months total assistance for unpaid past due rent and utilities incurred after March 13, 2020.

Will the Emergency Rental Assistance be considered taxable income for households?

No. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Emergency Rental Assistance is to help eligible households that require financial assistance to pay for rent, utilities, and other related expenses. Rental and utility payments ONLY count as gross income for your landlord or utility provider.

How will I receive the payment once my Emergency Rental Assistance application is approved?

ERA payments will be made directly to landlords and service providers. The information provided in your application will be used to contact your landlord or utility provider(s). You will receive documentation of all payments made to your landlord or utility provider(s) on your behalf.

What utilities are covered?

They can include electricity, gas, water/sewer, trash removal, energy costs, such as fuel, oil, or wood for heating. The Internet is considered a utility for this program.

Phone and TV bills are NOT included in the program.

What about costs other than rent and utilities?

Costs related to obtaining or keeping safe housing will be considered on a case-by-case basis when an application is reviewed.

I receive a monthly federal subsidy (e.g., Housing Choice Voucher, Public Housing, Project-Based Section 8, USDA Rural Development). Am I still eligible to apply?

Yes. Households that receive a monthly federal subsidy are eligible to apply for assistance. However, assistance will only be provided for the amount not covered by other programs.

Is there a maximum amount of assistance per applicant covered by this program?

No, but rental assistance is limited to 18 months in total.

What is FMR?

FMR is the Fair Market Rent of a rental unit in a designated area decided by the Department of Housing Urban Development. As defined in 24 CFR 888.113, Fair Market Rents are estimates of 40th percentile gross rents for standard quality units within a metropolitan area or nonmetropolitan county. The table below depicts the FMR for Saint Louis.

Tenant Online Application Tutorial Videos

How to Create an Account

How to Apply

How to Upload Documents

How to Submit Rent/Utilities