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Fri May 7, 2021, 02:36 PM

U.S. Treasury releases $21.6 billion rental assistance, aims to aid renters directly

Source: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday said it has allocated an additional $21.6 billion for rental assistance under President Joe Biden's coronavirus rescue package, adding new rules aimed at assisting more renters directly.

The Treasury said that new guidance to local agencies administering rental assistance programs allows them for the first time to offer aid directly to renters first, before offering it to landlords. It also now requires that aid funds must be offered directly to renters when landlords do not participate in such programs.

It also said that the length of time that renters must wait to receive rental funds was cut in half to as little as five days after determining a landlord is not participating in the rental assistance program.

The Treasury's announcement follows a federal court ruling on Wednesday that threw out an eviction moratorium imposed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a setback for millions of Americans who have fallen behind on rent payments during the pandemic. The same judge put a temporary hold on her ruling as the government seeks to overturn it on appeal.

Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-treasury-releases-21-6-161149102.html

6 replies, 1549 views

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Reply U.S. Treasury releases $21.6 billion rental assistance, aims to aid renters directly (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin May 7 OP
MichMan May 7 #1
Grins May 7 #2
Mr.Bill May 7 #3
Sibelius Fan May 7 #4
Mr.Bill May 7 #5
BumRushDaShow May 7 #6

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri May 7, 2021, 03:01 PM

1. Are the renters required to use it to pay past due rent ?

Article doesn't say, other than the aid is going to the renters themselves and NOT directly to the landlords.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri May 7, 2021, 03:03 PM

2. How can Treasury do this?

Allocating funds, esp. $21 BILLION, must - by law- come from Congress. Treasury cannot do this on its own initiative.


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Response to Grins (Reply #2)

Fri May 7, 2021, 04:13 PM

3. Maybe it was part of the last relief bill? n/t

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #3)

Fri May 7, 2021, 05:00 PM

4. It was

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Response to Sibelius Fan (Reply #4)

Fri May 7, 2021, 05:02 PM

5. Thanks. n/t

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Response to Grins (Reply #2)

Fri May 7, 2021, 06:03 PM

6. It is in the "American Rescue Plan"

I had posted about this in another thread - https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=2739152

but here is info from the WH "fact sheet" - https://home.treasury.gov/news/featured-stories/fact-sheet-the-american-rescue-plan-will-deliver-immediate-economic-relief-to-families

FACT SHEET: The American Rescue Plan Will Deliver Immediate Economic Relief to Families

March 18, 2021


Homeowner Assistance Fund

As the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis took form, millions of Americans were faced with the pressures of having to decide between making mortgage payments and other essential obligations. This was especially true for the low-income communities and communities of color who bore the brunt of this crisis. Across the country, one in 10 homeowners with a mortgage are behind on payments. The law takes immediate steps to help Americans stay in their homes and keep a roof over their heads.

The American Rescue Plan provides nearly $10 billion for states, territories, and Tribes to provide relief for our country’s most vulnerable homeowners. This includes:

  • A minimum of $50 million for each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico;
  • $30 million for the territories of Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands;
  • An explicit mandate to prioritize socially disadvantaged households;

  • The law prioritizes those homeowners that have experienced the greatest hardships, leveraging local and national income indicators to maximize intended impact. Applicable funding uses include delinquent mortgage payments, allowing Americans across the country to take a step in the right direction toward household stabilization. These necessary actions will minimize foreclosures in the coming months, alleviate emergency shelter capacity, and mitigate potential COVID-19 infections.

    Emergency Rental Assistance

    An underlying consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic is that household stability is not just a financial security issue, but also a health concern. As the country entered the throes of the crisis, many cities and states began creating or expanding rental assistance programs to support at-risk households. The December appropriations bill provided $25 billion of federal relief to be administered by the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program for disbursement to existing state and local government programs. The American Rescue Plan nearly doubles the initial funding to expand the reach and impact of the existing ERA program, taking additional steps to mitigate the financial harm caused by the pandemic and keeping Americans safe as the country addresses the virus.

    The American Rescue Plan provides $21.6 billion for states, territories, and local governments to assist households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 crisis. This includes:

  • A minimum of $152 million for each state and the District of Columbia;
  • $305 million for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa;
  • $2.5 billion for payments to “high-need grantees,” locations with an urgent need for assistance when factoring conditions such as change in employment, concentration of very low-income renters, and rental market costs

  • As a result of the American Rescue Plan, states and localities across the country will be better armed to provide relief and assistance to those vulnerable households. The new funding will leverage existing program structures, allowing for money to be disbursed quickly and efficiently to on the ground emergency programs, and ensuring this country’s hardest-hit families to receive their equitable share of relief.

    Basically what has happened is that each state/territory/D.C. has or is expected to, set up some kind of system, in collaboration with several federal agencies, for tenants and landlords to sign up and be approved to participate in. Then the funds that are allocated to those states/territories/D.C. can be disbursed based on eligibility.

    So IIRC from an article I read earlier this week - if a qualified landlord is in the system and a tenant of that landlord is approved for assistance in the system, then the funds actually go directly to the landlord. And apparently based on the OP, if the landlord didn't get into the system and/or refuses to participate in this program, then the funding would go directly to the tenant to be used to pay their landlord (or their back mortgage). I believe it actually covers up to a year's worth as well - assuming all the ducks are in a row for eligibility, with proof of impact due to COVID-related issues.

    In many (if not all cases), states/counties/municipalities either have departments that handle this and/or have partnered with non-profits whose focus is on indigent tenants/home-owners (and landlords, via parallel departments/organizations who represent that interest) and can help guide them through the process of signing up and requesting the funds.

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