Launched at the end of April, Wyoming's Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) has more than doubled the amount of approved applicants in the past month, going from 351 at the end of June to 924 by August 5, or 30% of total completed applications.

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Of the $2.8 million disbursed, $2.2 million went to landlords, $485,000 went to renters and $211,000 went to utilities.

According to a press release by the Wyoming Department of Family Services, the rental program coincides with the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) eviction moratorium extension for communities with substantial or high-level community transmission of COVID-19, which currently includes all of Wyoming.

The CDC's temporary order is in effect from Aug. 3 through Oct. 3, 2021, however the Supreme Court had declared the previous order illegal, so the most recent ban may face legal challenges.

Korin Schmidt, director for the Wyoming Department of Family Services , said:

"We encourage Wyoming renters who are behind on rent or who believe they are at risk of eviction to submit a declaration to their landlord, apply for emergency rental assistance and, if necessary, seek help from legal aid of Wyoming. Unpaid rent payments have devastating consequences on renters, who need to keep a roof over their head, and landlords, who could face financial trouble."

The federally funded program launched with $180 million available to eligible renters struggling to make rent, internet, and utility payments, as well as housing stability services.

ERAP has also given $1 million to Equal Justice Wyoming for legal services to eligible households facing eviction and/or other housing instability.

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