The U.S. Department of Treasury awarded states and localities $46.5B in Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) to help people avoid eviction and homelessness.

ERA funds can cover rental payments, move-in expenses, and supports to promote housing stability, among other eligible activities. In addition to preventing housing loss (including for families living in doubled up situations) and homelessness, ERA funds can be used to help people escape homelessness. With deadlines for funding recapture upcoming, it’s extremely important to ensure that all available ERA funds are being used.

ERA Funds May Be Recaptured

ERA grantees, including states, are expected to meet spending targets for their grant allocation. Spending analysis is expected to occur quarterly (March 30; June 30; and September 30). Grantees that fall short of spending targets face having a portion of their grant funds reallocated to other grantees. This could result in the loss of millions of dollars to those states. Jurisdictions that can demonstrate both an ability to spend down the funds and a continuing need for rental assistance may apply for recaptured funds.

How Homeless Service Agencies Can Put ERA Funds to Good Use

Some homeless service providers and programs are already administering ERA funds to help people avoid homelessness and housing loss. They can also utilize ERA efficiently and effectively to help people escape homelessness. This can be achieved through:

  • expanding Rapid Re-Housing to assist every person experiencing homelessness;
  • providing housing navigation, landlord incentives, security deposits, and related expenses for people seeking to use Emergency Housing Vouchers to escape homelessness;
  • extending Rapid Re-Housing rental assistance; and
  • expanding diversion assistance.

Where Can I Find Out About My State’s ERA Spending?

The data on ERA spending by grantees is complicated. ERA comprises two separate funding streams: ERA1 and ERA2. Grantees report expenditures for both ERA1 and ERA2 to Treasury on a monthly basis. Assessing progress on ERA1 spending requires taking the following steps:

  1. Access the most recent available reporting document (currently the most up-to-date is from April 30, 2022).
  1. Go to the second tab, labeled “ERA1 State and Local Reporting.”
  1. On this Excel sheet, there is a column (P) entitled: “Assistance to Household Expenditure Ratio.”

Read the full article about Emergency Rental Assistance by Sharon McDonald at National Alliance to End Homelessness.