White House Hosts Virtual Event on State and Local Efforts to Distribute ERA and Prevent Evictions

The White House hosted a virtual event on September 8 to highlight cities, counties, and states that are leading the way on rapidly delivering emergency rental assistance (ERA) and protecting tenants. The event featured Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and other top Biden administration officials, and it showcased best practices that governors, mayors, and county leaders are implementing to accelerate ERA distribution and protect at-risk households.

Secretary Yellen emphasized the critical connection between preventing evictions and ensuring an equitable economic recovery, and she discussed steps the Treasury Department has taken to cut red tape within the ERA program. Gene Sperling, White House American Rescue Plan coordinator, highlighted high performing ERA grantees and additional tenant protections that several states and localities have put in place. Treasury Department Chief Recovery Officer Jacob Leibenluft spotlighted promising practices communities are using to deliver aid, and Erika Poethig, special assistant to the president for housing and urban policy, outlined steps local governments can take to prevent evictions, including local eviction moratoriums.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg shared effective policies and practices that have allowed their governments to distribute ERA efficiently, effectively, and equitably. Each official emphasized the importance of using the flexibilities provided by the Biden administration, including self-attestation, fact-based proxies, and streamlined application processes. Other best practices included collaboration among elected officials, nonprofit organizations, and the court system; conducting robust outreach; and establishing right-to-counsel programs and other tenant protections.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee explained how his state has prioritized eviction diversion by establishing diversion programs, helping tenants and landlords access ERA, and enacting protections for tenants whose ERA applications are being processed. Boston Mayor Kim Janey discussed the city’s new eviction moratorium enacted on August 31 and Boston’s efforts to reach low-income tenants by establishing a program to help residents of public housing apply for and receive ERA.

Read the White House readout of the virtual event at: https://bit.ly/3E1ZDgu

Watch the recording of the event at: https://bit.ly/3la0aV5