EDWARDSVILLE — Officials announce that Madison County’s Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance (ERAP) program is ending after more than two years.

“The program helped thousands of people with their rent and utility bills who were impacted by COVID,” Chairman Kurt Prenzler said.

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Since March 2021, Madison County Community Development (MCCD) administered more than $11.6 million in ERAP assistance to more than 2,500 households. The program will end at the end of the month.

MCCD Director Chris Otto commended the staff for all their hard work on ERAP.

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“This group routinely put in 10-hour-plus days to keep up with the workflow and flood of applicants,” Otto said.

Board member Denise Wiehardt and chair of the Grants Committee said the pandemic was hard on everyone, especially for those who lost their jobs and couldn’t pay their rent or utility bills. She said that ERAP helped people from being evicted.

“We saw a real need for this program,” Wiehardt said. “The individuals the county helped are appreciative, but wish they had never been in the situation in the first place. No one wants lose their job or not be able to pay their bills.”

Although ERAP is ending the county will continue to offer utility and water assistance and food pantry support to low-income customers, as well as Homeless Services.

Contact MCCD at (618) 296-4386 to inquire about the programs. The Referral Hotline for those at risk of losing housing is (618) 296-5300.

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