LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — On Monday, 8 News Now spoke to a family now homeless, as they wait for rental assistance.
Patience and hope are running thin for Gwendolyn Clayton.
“I feel like I failed my family,” Clayton said.
She also told 8 News Now she is waiting on an answer from Clark County about her rental assistance application.
Clayton said she was told to check every 30 days.
“How many 30 days do you think I can give until it is too much for me,” Clayton said.
The Clark County Cares Housing Assistance Program also known as ‘CHAP’ was established early in the pandemic for emergency rent payments of up to 18 months of rent.
After that’s used up, you are no longer eligible.
Applications for that were cut off by January 22.
By January 23rd there were new requirements:
- At least one member of a household is living on a fixed income (e.g., Social Security, VA benefits, or pensions).
- Have experienced a rent increase within the 12-month period prior to the date of application.
- Received an eviction notice for non-payment of rent.
- Experienced a recent change in circumstances that has resulted in an inability to pay rent.
However, Clayton said she was evicted while she had an application pending since December.
“It wasn’t about me, I was a number,” Clayton said.
According to Clark County, residents with a pending CHAP application are not allowed to be evicted for non-payment.
Ryan McConnell with Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada said that can be a gray area.
“Perhaps you have multiple denials by CHAP before but you keep reapplying for the sake of applying the courts going to determine you are not applying in good faith so they can grant this eviction,” McConnell said.
He said those facing eviction must respond to it right away with the Justice Court.
He also advises those interested to be up to date with their CHAPS application, in the meantime, always have a plan in place if you are not able to make payments.
“I tell my clients to hope for the best but plan for the worst, that is just the reality we are facing out there,” he said.
However, the future is still daunting for Clayton as she is scared, she will be having to resort to living in her car again.
Victoria has reached out to Clark County again to ask why the application process is taking so long and how many applicants they have.
Clark County responded with a list of information detailing the program and where the application approval process currently stands.
Clark County CARES (CHAP) Housing Assistance Program
- Since its launch, Clark County has assisted more than 75,000 households with rent and utilities, and more than 60,000 households through direct payment to utility companies
- Since January 23, 2023, about 5,000 applications have been processed (approvals or denials) This number also includes applications currently being processed
- As of March 21, 2023, there are 3,406 pending applications in the queue waiting to be assigned
- It can take up to three weeks to process an application pending the applicant’s response to requests for updated documents/verifications and the landlord’s documents
- Applications are assigned in the date order they’re received and it takes about 12 weeks for applications to be assigned
- Once a CHAP applicant has reached the cap, they are no longer eligible to receive CHAP assistance
- Tenants who are facing an eviction and have a pending rental assistance application in the system are encouraged to respond to the eviction in court to stay the eviction