What is Emergency Rental Assistance?
The U.S. Treasury Department’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program is distributing $25 billion for renters who are struggling to pay rent and utilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is funded by the stimulus relief bill signed by former President Trump in December, 2020.
Where is Emergency Rental Assistance provided?
Funding will be provided for:
- All 50 states (including Washington, D.C.)
- U.S. Territories (including Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa)
- Local governments with more than 200,000 residents
- Department of Hawaiian Home Lands
- Indian tribes (defined to include Alaska native corporations)
- Or the tribally designated housing entity of an Indian tribe, as applicable
Who is eligible for Emergency Rental Assistance?
Eligible households must have at least one person that meets all of the following requirements:
- “Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19;
- Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
- Has a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median.”
Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury
How does Emergency Rental Assistance work?
“Eligible households may receive up to 12 months of assistance, plus an additional 3 months if the grantee determines the extra months are needed to ensure housing stability and grantee funds are available. The payment of existing housing-related arrears that could result in eviction of an eligible household is prioritized. Assistance must be provided to reduce an eligible household’s rental arrears before the household may receive assistance for future rent payments. Once a household’s rental arrears are reduced, grantees may only commit to providing future assistance for up to three months at a time. Households may reapply for additional assistance at the end of the three-month period if needed and the overall time limit for assistance is not exceeded.”Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury
How to get Emergency Rental Assistance?
“An application for rental assistance may be submitted by either an eligible household or by a landlord on behalf of that eligible household. Households and landlords must apply through programs established by grantees. In general, funds will be paid directly to landlords and utility service providers. If a landlord does not wish to participate, funds may be paid directly to the eligible household.”Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury