Over 90% of the rent assistance money allocated to prevent evictions and halt evictions is still unused.
Meanwhile evictions remain halted in many states while landlords go unpaid.
Today the Treasury Department announced Seven New Policies to Encourage State and Local Governments to Expedite Emergency Rental Assistance.
- Self-attestation can be used in documenting each aspect of a household’s eligibility for ERA, including with respect to: a) financial hardship, b) the risk of homelessness or housing instability, and c) income
- During the public health emergency, state and local ERA programs may rely on self-attestation alone to document household income eligibility when documentation is not available.
- State and local grantees may advance assistance to landlords and utility providers based on estimated eligible arears.
- State and local grantees may enter into partnership with nonprofits to deliver advance assistance to households at risk of eviction while their applications are still being processed.
- Grantees may make additional rent payments to landlords that take on tenants facing major barriers to securing a lease, including those who have been evicted or experienced homelessness in the past year.
- Past arrears at previous addresses may be covered. To remove barriers a household may face in accessing new housing if they have outstanding debt in collection, Treasury’s guidance makes clear that state and local grantees may—at an eligible tenant’s request—provide assistance to cover remaining rental or utility arrears at a previous address.
- A tenant’s costs associated with obtaining a hearing or appealing an order of eviction may be covered with ERA funds as an eligible “other expense.”