In December, Congress came together to pass a pandemic relief bill, which included $25 billion in emergency rental assistance. This emergency rental assistance (ERA) funding will run through the Coronavirus Relief Fund at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. To ensure that rural areas are equitably served, the Housing Assistance Council submitted comments to the Treasury Department calling for ERA guidance to include the needs of rural communities. HAC’s comments focused on highlighting several key areas:
- The lack of rural-targeted housing assistance provided thus far in the pandemic, and the outsized impact COVID-19 has had in rural communities.
- The importance of Treasury encouraging states to use their ERA funding proportionally in rural areas.
- The need for Treasury to make clear in guidance that currently unassisted families living in USDA multifamily properties are eligible for ERA funds.
- The need for Treasury to clarify that local governments do not have to incur costs up front before being able to use ERA funds.
Read the full comment letter to the Treasury Department here.