On August 18, 2021 NAR and a coalition of housing provider groups sent a letter to the White House, Treasury Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the full U.S. Congress with recommendations for improving distribution of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) funds.
Congress has appropriated nearly $47 billion in funding for ERAP programs which are created and administered by state and local entities. The patchwork of programs, as well as unnecessarily burdensome application requirements and confusion as to who qualifies and can apply has combined to result in a slow disbursement to tenants and housing providers in need. ERAP is intended to help those who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and struggling to pay rent and other housing costs, and to help those housing providers—especially "mom-and-pop landlords" with just 1-4 units—collect the rent they are owed so they can meet their own financial obligations and continue to provide housing. This is especially critical with the continued extension of the CDC's national eviction moratorium through October 3.
NAR and the housing provider coalition have been working with the Administration and Congress since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to procure rental assistance, which is the correct solution to job-losses and financial losses that have resulted. NAR has met with several federal agencies, including the White House, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Treasury Department, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to discuss ways to improve the program and make it easier for housing providers to apply on behalf of tenants and receive the rental assistance they are owed. NAR will continue to advocate for common-sense improvements to the program.