The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) was established in the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act and is administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) to provide rental assistance to those most vulnerable to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Treasury has updated its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for ERAP. The updated FAQs, which supersede any previous FAQs, can be found here on the Treasury’s website: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares/emergency-rental-assistance-program
Key revisions of the previous FAQs include:
Allowing PIH-Assisted Households to Receive Assistance: The FAQs clarify under what circumstances households assisted under PIH programs, like the Indian Housing Block Grant program, can also receive ERAP assistance to pay the tenant-owed portion of rent and utilities.
Timing for landlord engagement: The timeline required to wait for a landlord’s response before a grantee can pay a renter directly has been reduced from 21 calendar days to 14 days if communication is by mail and 10 days in by phone, text, email.
Flexibility as to the form of documentation: The FAQs set the expectation that grantees will be flexible about the form of documentation that they will accept and provides specific examples.
Allowing for self-attestation: The FAQs provide a framework in which grantees can accept self-attestations from vulnerable populations that simply cannot provide the level of documentation that might be ideal.
Greater clarity on other expenses: The FAQs provide greater clarity about other expenses including internet service in the home.
Greater clarity on housing stability services: The FAQs provide greater clarity about housing stability services including allowing legal assistance related to evictions.