Partners leading the work on the Framework for an Equitable COVID-19 Homelessness Response on February 25 released a new resource to help communities target emergency rental assistance to prevent homelessness and address racial inequities. “Having the Greatest Impact on Preventing Homelessness and Addressing Racial Inequities with New Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Resources” provides communities with steps they can take to ensure emergency rental assistance (ERA) programs are designed to target households at greatest risk of housing instability and homelessness while centralizing racial justice and equity.
The guidance encourages ERA program administrators to target funding to neighborhoods experiencing the greatest COVID-19 impacts and at greatest risk for eviction and homelessness. Administrators are encouraged to partner with organizations and residents in historically marginalized neighborhoods to perform outreach, engage with small landlords, and implement an application process that is accessible to people with limited internet access, limited English proficiency, and accessibility needs. Assessments should also be performed while funds are being distributed to determine which neighborhoods are being adequately served and to ensure funds are being distributed equitably.
ERA program administrators should prioritize the lowest-income households – those earning 30% or less of area median income – and households with a history of homelessness. Partnering with organizations already serving extremely low-income households or people experiencing homelessness can help administrators quickly identify which households are most at-risk. Moreover, making implementation flexible by utilizing self-attestation whenever possible can help ensure those most vulnerable to eviction and homelessness – including unbanked people, people without formal leases, undocumented people, and people without formally documented incomes – are still able to access this crucial funding.
Read “Having the Greatest Impact on Preventing Homelessness and Addressing Racial Inequities with New Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Resources” at: https://tinyurl.com/up365c
View all of the resources available from the Framework for an Equitable COVID-19 Homelessness Response at: https://housingequityframework.org/