NLIHC, the NYU Furman Center, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Housing Initiative at Penn released Learning from Emergency Rental Assistance Programs: Lessons from Fifteen Case Studies on March 9. The report examines 15 emergency rental assistance programs and how they serve renters, especially those with the lowest incomes and greatest vulnerabilities. The report identifies more than 30 specific strategies in six key areas.
NLIHC and its research partners interviewed administrators of 15 emergency rental assistance programs that represented rural, urban, pre-existing (i.e., those that existed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic), and new programs (i.e., those begun during the pandemic). The interviews focused on the key challenges program administrators faced, the strategies they used to address these challenges, and the lessons current and future program administrators can take away. The interviews expanded upon findings from our previous survey of 220 emergency rental assistance programs (See Memo 2/01).
The report identifies six key lesson areas with multiple strategies learned in each. The first five lesson areas are increasing tenant take-up, targeting vulnerable groups, engaging landlords, boosting efficiency, and effectively partnering with nonprofits. The sixth lesson area is not limited to program administrators, but also relevant for funders, including the federal government and state or local legislatures: the necessity of clear and consistently flexible guidelines that programs are expected to meet for their funding. The report provides more than 30 specific strategies across all six lesson areas to improve program efficacy.
Learning from Emergency Rental Assistance Programs: Lessons from Fifteen Case Studies is available at: https://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/ERA-Programs-Case-Study.pdf