The Department of the Treasury recently reallocated $521.1 million in emergency rental assistance (ERA), taking the funds away from places they may have gone unused and giving them to areas with high need.
Of the 82 state and local grantees that received the latest round of reallocations, which now total more than $4.8 billion, here are some that have demonstrated particular success in deploying ERA to people in need:
- Oakland, California, has partnered with nine community-based organizations to conduct outreach to renters and provide tenant protection and other wraparound services, such as financial counseling and landlord-tenant mediation. The city has also developed a productive relationship with Stanford University to identify and develop long-term solutions for serving vulnerable households and keeping more Oakland families in their homes. Additionally, Oakland has leveraged its experience with ERA to pilot a homelessness prevention program that complements its eviction prevention efforts.
- Gwinnett County, Georgia, operates an ERA program known as RESET 2.0, which has seen success processing over $86.5 million in financial assistance to date, according to county data. It has made a commitment to reducing barriers for applying and receiving ERA assistance, quickly processing applications, and partnering with key stakeholders, such as the local courthouse. As just one example, RESET 2.0 embedded a court liaison for the ERA program among court staff to ensure courtrooms have a direct line to rental assistance information to help ensure that eligible renters could receive assistance. As a result of these and other efforts, the program has served over 7,300 Georgia households.
- Polk County, Iowa, contracted with its local community action agency to process applications and leverage existing resources to provide wraparound services, such as housing stability case management and direct connection to rental housing specialists. The county has also worked closely with the local judicial system to provide real-time data to judges about ERA application status, which then prompts tenant/landlord mediation services with the goal of preventing court-ruled evictions.
The ERA Program has distributed almost 10.8 million payments to households at risk of eviction, and along with other Biden-Harris administration efforts to prevent evictions, has helped millions of people avoid losing their home during the pandemic.
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