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At 469 square miles, Los Angeles is the largest city in California, with an estimated population of four million people. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in mid-2020, an estimated 500,000 households in LA would require temporary assistance paying their rent through the LA Emergency Rental Assistance Subsidy Program (ERAS). Today, this is the largest rental subsidy program in the nation.

With $103 million in Federal CARES Act funding at their disposal, the City of LA needed a repeatable and auditable system to facilitate the collection, allocation, verification, and delivery of funds. The City of LA asked Cask to develop a custom scoped application on the ServiceNow platform that would be used to allocate aid and prevent displacement of low-income renters impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

In just two months, Cask delivered Phase 1 of the ERAS capability, including the public-facing Renters Relief Application System, compiling the City’s selected front-end data collection points and front-end form design. The forms needed to be ADA/WCAG Compliant, and available in multiple languages. During the initial enrollment period (July 2020), the City of LA received over 250,000 applications for rental relief through the ERAS portal.

In Phase 2, Cask assisted the City of LA in narrowing the list of applicants based on specific criteria outlined by the public agency. Additional functionality in the back-end workflow included data collection capabilities for those approved applicants to provide documentation for verification; and then award notification and reporting capabilities within the system. Application lifecycle tracking, notifications and appointment scheduling for those individuals seeking assistance were all part of the City of LA’s scope of work. Secure data storage was also included. 

The ERAS application’s back-end application filtering and data output requirements ensured that applicants met the criteria set forth by the city for receipt of funds. Eligibility support documentation was included in the platform infrastructure, to house all pertinent application information in one location. That information could later be output into an XML, CSV, Excel, or other system of choice by the City.

Because of the city’s partnership with Cask, this significant funding has been delivered to the Angelenos who need it the most.

In just six short weeks, Cask was able to build a custom-scoped application that allowed the City of LA to give city residents the opportunity to apply for rental assistance funding, collect and verify the eligibility of those applicants, and to select recipients based on predetermined criteria; as well as to track and audit the disbursement of funds.

Cask was able to successfully realize the City of LA’s vision to provide additional assistance beyond protections already in place for those struggling financially during the pandemic. Because of the city’s partnership with Cask, this significant funding has been delivered to the Angelenos who need it the most.

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