The US Treasury Department has issued new rules intended to make it easier for tenants to benefit from the $46.5 billion in emergency rental aid being offered by the federal government, just as a federal judge has ruled that the earlier ban on evictions from the US Centers for Disease Control is invalid.
Even as the American economy continues its recovery from the devastating impact of the pandemic, millions of Americans face deep rental debt and fear evictions and the loss of basic housing security. COVID-19 has exacerbated an affordable housing crisis that predated the pandemic and that has exacerbated deep disparities that threaten the strength of an economic recovery that must work for everyone.
To meet this need, the Emergency Rental Assistance program makes funding available to assist households that are unable to pay rent or utilities. Two separate programs have been established.
ERA1 provides up to $25 billion under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which was enacted on December 27, 2020, and ERA2 provides up to $21.55 billion under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was enacted on March 11, 2021. The funds are provided directly to states, U.S. territories, local governments, and (in the case of ERA1) Indian tribes. Grantees use the funds to provide assistance to eligible households through existing or newly created rental assistance programs.
Go here for an ERA Fact Sheet.