Family Finances

Emerging Best Practices for COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Programs

December 22, 2020  • Financial Security Program, Katherine Lucas McKay, Zach Neumann & Sam Gilman

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On December 21st Congress passed a COVID-19 relief package that includes $25 billion in rental assistance to support tenants struggling to make monthly housing payments and extended the CDC eviction moratorium through January. This funding is urgently needed. According to survey data from the Census Bureau, 18% of tenants are currently behind on rental payments and 30% have little or no confidence that they will be able to make rental payments next month. Missed payments put tenants at risk of eviction while also compromising the ability of property owners to pay mortgages and maintain properties.

This slide deck lays out emerging best practices for the design and administration of rental assistance programs for states, localities, and their non-profit partners who will be called upon to disburse billions in rental assistance. Failing to move quickly could spell disaster, and successful implementation will be critical to household stabilization.

Drawing on lessons from around the United States and recent insights gained through a rental assistance pilot, the publication lays out a framework to guide policymakers, program administrators, and elected officials as they attempt to deploy rental assistance on an unprecedented scale.

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