14-1 Advancing Tenant Protections: Research Update

By Andrew Aurand, NLIHC

Serving Native American Households Using ERA: Learning from High-Spending Programs

Continuing our research on emergency rental assistance (ERA), NLIHC released a second research brief about Indigenous tribes’ ERA programs. Multiple factors made it difficult for tribes to quickly get assistance to those in need, including limited rental housing on native lands, the lack of timely federal guidance and technical assistance, and a short spending deadline. Nonetheless, many tribes successfully distributed significant levels of assistance. Published in the fall of 2022, the research brief examines some of the reasons for their success, including administrators’ efforts to temporarily address overcrowding by covering a combination of relocation expenses, security deposits, and three months of future rent; collaboration with local hotels and motels to temporarily house people experiencing homelessness or overcrowded living situations; and the extension of assistance to households living outside of reservations. In addition, programs relied on external partnerships to raise awareness about available resources, while also reducing documentation requirements, making it easier for renters to apply for assistance.

Improving Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Data for Preservation

Affordable rental properties supported by the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) have income-eligibility and rent restrictions that typically last for 30 years (or longer, in some states). In some cases where a property owner wants to sell, the restriction period may be only 15 years. Released during the fall of 2022, this report shows the need for improvements in the quality and accessibility of property-level LIHTC data so that affordable housing stakeholders can better identify specific properties that are aging out of their affordability restrictions and better target efforts to preserve affordable housing and protect tenants. NLIHC’s research team is now working to interview tenants who live in LIHTC properties that are losing their affordability restrictions.

Please contact [email protected] if you or someone you know resides in a LIHTC property that is at risk of becoming unaffordable due to the expiration of rent restrictions.