The Emergency Rental Assistance program makes available $25 billion to assist households unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic or directly to their landlords. The funds are provided directly to States, U.S. Territories, local governments, and Indian tribes from the Department of the Treasury. Grantees use the funds to assist eligible households through existing or newly created rental assistance programs.
Eligible grantees must provide payment information and sign the acceptance of award terms form accessible below. The award terms are available for review and may be accessed below. Prospective grantees should review in full the statutory provisions, which may be accessed below for complete participation requirements.
An “eligible household” is defined as a renter household in which at least one or more individuals meets the following criteria:
- Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred high costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19;
- Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
- Has a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median.
Rental assistance provided to an eligible household should not be duplicative of any other federally funded rental assistance provided to such a household.
Eligible households that include an individual who has been unemployed for the 90 days before the application for assistance and households with income at or below 50 percent of the area median must be prioritized for assistance.
Household income is determined as either the household’s total income for the calendar year 2020 or the household’s monthly income at the time of application. For household incomes determined using the latter method, income eligibility must be redetermined every 3 months.
Eligible households may receive up to 12 months of assistance, plus an additional 3 months if the grantee determines the extra months are needed to ensure housing stability and grantee funds are available. The payment of existing housing-related arrears that could result in an eviction of an eligible household is prioritized. Assistance must be provided to reduce an eligible household’s rental arrears before the household may receive assistance for future rent payments. Once a household’s rental arrears are reduced, grantees may only commit to providing future assistance for up to three months at a time. Households may reapply for additional assistance at the end of the three-month period if needed, and the overall time limit for assistance is not exceeded.
An application for rental assistance may be submitted by either an eligible household or by a landlord on behalf of that eligible household. Households and landlords must apply through programs established by grantees. In general, funds will be paid directly to landlords and utility service providers. If a landlord does not wish to participate, funds may be paid directly to the eligible household. Treasury cannot process applications from households and landlords. Please review the list of eligible grantees below and contact your local grant recipient for information on applying.