Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
HUD and Treasury hosted an Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) webinar on September 23 featuring case studies of ERA grantees, community-based partners, and multifamily housing partners that have developed strong partnerships to provide rental support effectively and efficiently. The recording and presentation slides are now available.
HUD's Office of Affordable Housing Programs (OAHP) is hosting a four-part webinar series to review Notice CPD-21-10. The notice establishes requirements for the use of ARP funds to provide homelessness assistance and supportive services. Register today!
HUD’s Office of Block Grant Assistance is hosting a four-part webinar series for Community Development Block Grant CARES Act (CDBG-CV) grantees on best practices of CDBG-CV project implementation. Learn more here.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced on September 27 new and extended COVID-19 relief options for borrowers recently or newly struggling to make their mortgage payments because of the pandemic and for senior homeowners with Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) who need assistance to remain in their homes.
Department of Treasury
Treasury Deputy Secretary Adeyemo published a letter to all ERA grantees on September 24 providing further insight into how Treasury intends to approach the reallocation process. Further guidance on the recapture and reallocation process is expected in the coming days.
Treasury released its August ERA report on September 24 showing more than 420,000 households received ERA in August, totaling over $2.3 billion in payments. Read Treasury’s post on the August data and NLIHC’s statement and analysis of the latest ERA spending data.
Treasury on September 24 posted a section on ERA program and service design, which includes new guidelines for ERA program online applications, including example screens and guidelines for program websites.
U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH)
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) recently updated its collection of federal guidance and resources to help communities plans for, respond to, and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and environmental disasters. View the COVID-19 collection of guidance and resources here.
Advocacy and Research
The National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) released findings from a survey of community-based organizations working to protect low-income renters across the country from losing their homes. The survey findings demonstrate that many communities have not been protected by the CDC eviction moratorium. The survey also found that lack of outreach and in-language information, as well as a lack of cooperation from landlords, are significant barriers to accessing rental assistance programs.
The New York Times reports on the new data released by the U.S. Department of the Treasury on September 24 indicating Treasury disbursed more than $2.3 billion in rental assistance to about 420,000 households in August. “Nearly 1.5 million families helped is meaningful progress, but the overall rate of spending emergency rental assistance remains too slow,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel.
The Washington Post reports that while the amount of emergency rental assistance (ERA) reaching landlords and tenants increased slightly from July to August, many state and local ERA programs continue to struggle to distribute ERA. Some local program administrators continue to resist the Biden administration’s calls to reduce application requirements. The Treasury Department will release guidance on the reallocation process in the coming days.
The Associated Press highlights new data from the Treasury Department finding that states and cities distributed nearly 1.4 million emergency rental assistance (ERA) payments in August, picking up the pace from July. Treasury officials pointed to meaningful progress from New Jersey, New York, and South Carolina, as well as from New York, Los Angeles, and Miami-Dade County. Grantees that are not spending funds risk having ERA redirected to other states or cities.
State and Local News
The Phoenix Family Services Center is expanding its capacity to expedite distribution of emergency rental assistance (ERA). The city began hiring for 50 additional positions to help ensure clients can apply for and receive ERA. The center is now open Monday through Saturday from 7 am to 6 pm.
In addition to touting the success of San Diego’s COVID-19 Housing Stability Assistance Program, Mayor Todd Gloria on September 27 announced a proposal to establish a $5 million legal defense fund to support struggling renters. The city’s housing assistance program has provided more than $103 million in rent and utility assistance to nearly 12,000 households since launching in March. The mayor will present a proposal on October 5 to use $5 million in federal CARES Act funds to create a program to provide eviction prevention education and legal aid.
The California COVID-19 Rent Relief Program marked another milestone on September 27 with $650 million paid to 55,000 households. Beginning October 1, new state eviction protections will be in effect, but tenants must take steps to remain protected. Tenants must apply for rental assistance to be protected from eviction for nonpayment of rent.
The California Housing Partnership has been closely tracking the economic consequences of COVID-19 on California’s renter households since the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey was first released in May 2020. Their research finds that nearly 1.5 years into the pandemic, renters across California are still bearing the economic brunt of COVID-19, experiencing high rates of wage loss and housing insecurity, and struggling to make rent, despite the availability of emergency rental assistance.
The CT Post reports that eviction numbers have increased from earlier in the pandemic. In July, there were about 395 eviction filings, while as of September 22, it is up to 658 for the month. Connecticut’s statewide eviction moratorium ended in July 2021.
The Atlanta City Council approved on September 20 approximately $12 million in federal emergency rental assistance (ERA2) funds. The council also extended its contract with the United Way of Greater Atlanta to distribute ERA1 and ERA2 funds through January 31, 2022.
Governor David Ige expanded the free landlord-tenant mediation program to help renters catch up on rent before being evicted. According to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, the previous mediation sessions were only for tenants that were behind on four or more months of rent. Now, it includes tenants who are three months or more behind, and payments will continue month-by-month until they are caught up.
After the federal eviction moratorium ended on August 26, Indiana has experienced a spike in eviction filings. Indiana’s eviction filings have jumped 22% above the pre-pandemic average since early September. Federal funds have been slow to reach tenants, and some landlords are choosing to evict rather than wait for rental assistance.
Dozens of Lawrence residents are being evicted after the end of the federal eviction moratorium. A Lawrence Journal-World review of eviction cases filed in Douglas County District Court found that 44 evictions were filed in August and 36 have been filed in September (as of September 25). Processing delays with the Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) program and landlords refusing to accept ERA have left many tenants at risk for eviction. According to the executive director of the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, which is distributing KERA funds, taking advantage of the flexibilities provided by the Treasury Department – including the use of self-attestation – is speeding up the processing of rental assistance.
The City of Lake Charles established a rental assistance program through Catholic Charities of Southwest Louisiana using Community Development Block Grant – CARES (CDBG-CV) funds. The program provides up to $650 in a 12-month period. Renters can also apply to the Calcasieu Parish Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
There has been a surge of New Orleans tenants seeking emergency rental assistance, particularly as the statewide eviction moratorium expired on September 24. At least 1,600 tenants have applied for the New Orleans Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
Michigan is racing to meet the September 30 deadline to spend 65% of its ERA spending budget. Officials say they will meet the deadline, as they have spent about $225 million of the $622 million as of September 19. Bridge Michigan reports that over 34,000 families have been approved to receive the federal funds thus far.
The Nevada Independent reports the state has picked up its pace in distributing emergency rental assistance (ERA) and now ranks tenth in the nation for ERA disbursement. As of August 31, Nevada has distributed approximately $79 million, or 42% of the funds it received as part of the first round of ERA.
New Mexico agencies are racing to distribute at least $104 million in federal emergency rental (ERA) assistance by September 30 or risk forfeiting funds. As of mid-September, New Mexico has spent or assigned $51 million of ERA.
While evictions have resumed in Oklahoma, there is still financial help available for tenants struggling to pay their rent and utilities. As of mid-September, Community Cares Partners has spent $61,000,000 for rent and utility assistance.
The State of Oregon will be hiring an outside company to process emergency rental assistance (ERA) applications for the next round of funding to avoid a backlog of applications.
According to the Austin Monitor, Travis County will employ two efforts encouraged by the Treasury Department to accelerate the distribution of emergency rental assistance: categorical eligibility and bulk payments.
The Alexandria City Council voted unanimously on September 28 to increase the city’s capacity to support households at risk for eviction. The council allocated $457,000 for two service navigators and two housing relocator positions; storage assistance for household belongings; and additional legal services provided by the Legal Aid Justice Center.
King County officials say the extension of Washington state’s eviction moratorium bridge will not provide enough time to address all emergency rental assistance (ERA) applications. Governor Jay Inslee extended the statewide moratorium bridge to October 31. King County, however, believes there will still be 6,000-8,000 ERA applications to address after it expires.
Department of Housing and Urban Development