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NLIHC Releases Blueprint for a Permanent Emergency Rental Assistance Program

New report examines implementation of ERA by state and local programs and makes recommendations about how best to establish permanent ERA

Washington, D.C. – NLIHC released today a new report, Emergency Rental Assistance: A Blueprint for a Permanent Program. The report examines the implementation of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s (Treasury) Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program by state and local organizations to identify policies and practices that led to successful implementation and provide recommendations for model programs. By offering a compendium of new research, innovative tools, and shared experiences in the implementation of ERA, the report provides a blueprint that can be utilized to establish a permanent ERA program in the future.

“Emergency rental assistance has been crucially important in efforts to prevent evictions and promote housing instability during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “Now that funds are dwindling and many programs are closing their doors, we must ensure that emergency rental assistance continues to be available to those renters most in need. This new report provides the kind of comprehensive blueprint we need to make ERA permanent.”

For more than two years, NLIHC’s End Rental Arrears to Stop Evictions (ERASE) project  has tracked the progress of ERA and collaborated with state partners, local jurisdictions, and program administrators to ensure that emergency rental assistance reaches the lowest-income and most marginalized renters. The ERASE project has sought to ensure that ERA programs are visible, accessible, and preventive, and the new report focuses on identifying those practices and policies that have been most successful in realizing this goal.

The report provides an overview of Treasury’s ERA program, surveying its aims and structure, the guidance issued by Treasury concerning the use of ERA funds, Treasury’s processes for allocating and reallocating funds, and the general impact of ERA. Subsequent sections explore how ERA programs around the country ensured that ERA was visible and accessible to the lowest-income renters and how programs guaranteed that ERA programs prevented housing instability, evictions, and homelessness. The report highlights examples of policies and practices developed by organizations around the country and the work of the ERASE Cohort, a group of 38 state and local partners working with NLIHC to ensure that ERA reaches those renters most in need. The report also includes recommendations about legislation that would help create a permanent ERA program to prevent evictions and promote housing stability for extremely low-income renters.

“Since January 2021, ERA program administrators have made more than 7 million payments to households,” said ERASE Senior Project Director Sarah Gallagher. “The unprecedented investment in rental assistance, coupled with new local, state, and federal tenant protections, prevented at least 1.36 million formal evictions in 2021 alone. Given the success of ERA in promoting housing stability and preventing evictions, every effort should be made to preserve the newly created ERA infrastructure as an essential component of a full housing safety net.”

The report is available at:

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