NLIHC Sends Letter Urging Biden Administration to Rescind Emergency Rental Assistance FAQ and Reissue Guidance

NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel sent a letter on January 21 to President Joe Biden, Treasury Secretary-designate Janet Yellen, and HUD Secretary-designate Marcia Fudge outlining significant concerns with a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document released by the U.S. Department of the Treasury on January 19 regarding the emergency rental assistance (ERA) program. Many provisions in the FAQ document would make it more difficult for the lowest-income and most marginalized households to remain stably housed during the pandemic.

Congress enacted emergency COVID-19 relief legislation in December that established a $25 billion emergency rental assistance (ERA) program to be administered by the Treasury Department. The program was created by Congress to distribute critically needed rental assistance to millions of households at risk of losing their homes. Many of the provisions in Treasury’s FAQ document, however, directly undermine our nation’s ability to keep renters stably housed and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by requiring unnecessary and burdensome application processes and documentation requirements. The FAQ creates new barriers that will increase application times, discourage eligible households from seeking assistance, and prevent states and localities from spending resources in a timely manner.

The letter, sent on behalf of NLIHC and its Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (more than 850 local, state, and national organizations focused on ensuring the lowest-income and most marginalized survivors have stable, affordable housing while they work to recover after a disaster), urges the Biden administration to rescind the FAQ and replace it with improved guidance that includes NLIHC’s recommendations, which were written with significant stakeholder input and supporting research.

Read the full text of the letter at