The U.S. Department of the Treasury on August 4 reiterated its call for state and local governments to speed the distribution of emergency rental assistance (ERA) by removing unnecessary and burdensome documentation requirements. To help communities swiftly improve their ERA programs, Treasury updated its list of promising ERA practices by publishing examples of simplified eligibility forms and an eviction-diversion “maturity model,” as recommended by NLIHC. Treasury announced it is distributing the sample eligibility forms to all ERA program grantees, hosting information sessions, and providing technical support to encourage programs to utilize self-attestation when determining an applicant’s eligibility.
Despite the broad flexibilities provided by the White House and Treasury in its updated ERA guidance, many programs impose burdensome documentation and lengthy applications that slow the distribution of aid. The Biden administration continues to urge state and local governments to allow renters to self-attest to eligibility criteria, utilize categorical eligibility, and verify income eligibility based on fact-based proxies. Treasury published examples of self-attestation forms used by grantees to determine income eligibility, rental obligation, housing status, financial hardship, and other criteria. NLIHC has also posted examples of self-attestation forms on our ERA Resource Hub.
In collaboration with U.S. Digital Service, Treasury released an Eviction Prevention Program Maturity Model to help local eviction prevention partnerships assess and improve their efforts. The White House on June 24 announced a series of actions to help state and local governments prevent evictions, including urging communities to accelerate the distribution of ERA and adopt eviction diversion efforts. Treasury released updated guidance in June clarifying that ERA program funding can be used to support eviction-prevention and diversion programs. As part of its whole-of-government approach to prevent evictions, the White House hosted two virtual eviction prevention summits to emphasize the need for eviction diversion programs and help leaders across the country develop local eviction prevention action plans (see Memo, 7/6, 7/26).
The maturity model released by Treasury can help grantees develop a strategy and determine actionable steps to address eviction diversion. ERA grantees and stakeholders can utilize the model to determine their program’s stage of development and identify improvements that will help strengthen their approaches to ensuring housing stability within their communities. The model includes practices related to resourcing and shaping programs, tenant interventions, landlord and property manager interventions, relationship-based interventions, and prioritizing eviction cases for ERA.
Access Treasury’s promising practices at: https://tinyurl.com/uva4k7f8
View example self-attestation forms at: https://tinyurl.com/4r9kbhk7
Learn more about the Eviction Prevention Program Maturity Model at: https://tinyurl.com/ytb3jj8e