I-Team: Tenants, landlords grapple with CHAP issues, express frustrations

I-Team

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Viewers have been reaching out to 8 News Now, frustrated about the process for rental assistance. Landlords and tenants say the wait is long, and it’s difficult to get updates on applications.

When you go to the CARES Housing Assistance Program (CHAP) website, a message pops up on the homepage, addressing landlords and tenants. It tells landlords they’re aware of the issues and working to resolved them. To applicants, or tenants, it says applications are assigned to caseworkers in the order they’re received.

The issue? There are so many applications that the system is backed up.

Courtesy: CHAP.clarkcounty.gov

“When the pandemic came, everything got shaky,” mother Tierra Snell told the I-Team.

She says she’s raising four kids on her own. She’s also trying to work from home, but bills are piling up, including her rent.

“It just made my heart drop,” Snell said.

She showed us a due balance of more than $11,400. According to the lease she provided, rent is $1,325 for her apartment near Tropicana and Spencer.

Snell says she’s been behind for months.

“March is when they put a notice on my door, a sheriff notice,” she shared.

That’s when Snell says she applied with CHAP. But she and other viewers tell 8 News Now they’ve waited months for an answer and haven’t been able to reach a human.

“You know, Vanessa, this is uncharted territory for all of us,” Clark County Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick told us.

We brought the concerns to her since the county processes the applications and distributes the funds.

“The treasury is very clear on the administrative costs that it can use,” Kirkpatrick said.

She explains the county must follow federal guidelines and has spent as much as it’s allowed to on the costs to run the program. The chairwoman tells the I-Team that includes $7 million on an IT system and more than 400 workers.

“If you are in the system, you should feel comfortable that you are likely going to get rental assistance,” Kirkpatrick assured.

The county reports processing 1,000 applications a week and that 8,000 are waiting to be processed. There are differing opinions about whether the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) eviction moratorium is legal, but Assembly Bill 486 in Nevada is aimed at protecting tenants, like Snell, from being kicked out while their application is being processed.

“It’s like the least you can do is update me on, you know, ‘Hey, we have it; we’re working on it,'” Snell said.

Kirkpatrick shares one of the biggest hurdles as the applications are being processed is that all the documentation has not been provided. She stresses applicants need to be sure to submit all documents requested.

And while AB486 is aimed at protecting tenants, if they receive an eviction notice, they still need to file an answer in court.

Listed below are several resources for those facing eviction or in need of rental assistance.

Civil Law Self-help center information:

  • WHO: Tenants and Landlords
  • WHAT: Free legal aid due to evictions
  • WHERE: Civil Law Self Help Center – Regional Justice Center, 200 Lewis Ave. (Downtown Las Vegas)
  • WHEN: Mon.-Thurs., 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and Fri., 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Other helpful resources:

  • Legal Aid Southern Nevada: (702)-386-1070, website information click here.

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