On February 22, the US Treasury released its revised guidance on the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program, established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The ERA ensures that tenants stay housed while also helping to stabilize the rental housing industry. The updated FAQ clarifies several eligibility requirements of the program. In particular, the guidance indicates that eligible households must experience unemployment or other pandemic-related financial hardship, have one or more individuals in the household demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness, and have a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median income.
The updated document also allows for income to be determined based on either the full calendar year for 2020 or monthly income extrapolated over 12 months.
Additionally, the guidance provides flexibility by allowing ERA grantees to rely on the applicant’s testimony to ensure that there is no duplication of benefits provided by another government assistance program. The program currently provides assistance for up to three months, and with the availability of additional funds and revised guidance, households may receive up to 12 months of additional assistance. For more information on the specifics of the program, click here.