NLIHC Sends Letter Urging Biden Administration to Address Critical Issues with Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program

NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel sent a letter on behalf of NLIHC and its Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) on March 31 to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, and Domestic Policy Council Director Susan Rice requesting a meeting to share issues with the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program in need of immediate resolution. The letter expresses concerns about obstacles that will prevent vital ERA resources from reaching households with the greatest needs and urges the Departments of Treasury and HUD to take immediate action to remove these barriers and ensure that the lowest-income and most marginalized renters can remain stably housed during the pandemic.

NLIHC is tracking more than 700 state and local rental assistance programs created or expanded during the pandemic, analyzing key features of these programs, and sharing best practices for ensuring ERA is distributed to households most in need and is used to advance racial equity. The more than $46 billion in ERA funds provided by Congress in the American Rescue Plan Act and the December 2020 COVID-19 relief package can prevent millions of low-income people from losing their homes during the pandemic, but only if distributed swiftly and with careful attention to reaching people with the lowest incomes and other marginalized households in need.

The letter expresses appreciation for the diligent efforts by Treasury and HUD to assist states and localities with the distribution of these historic resources, but urges that more must be done to address several developing trends in ERA programs and to provide further needed guidance to ensure resources reach those households most at risk of eviction.

Read the full text of the letter at: