UPDATE: Assistance Needed For Renters Across The Country Feb 05 Feb 05 2021 PREVIOUS NEXT APOA advocates helped secure key victories in COVID-19 relief legislation including $25 billion in funding for the Emergency Rental Assistance program that will assist households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With many renters accruing debt too great to be repaid and more than 40% of rental units owned by ‘mom and pop’-operated small businesses, many of which have been struggling to pay their bills and maintain their properties—timely distribution of rental assistance funds is critical to stabilize housing and keep families in their homes. The Departments of Treasury and HUD must allocate the funds as quickly as possible and provide clear guidance to state and local governments when distributing federal rental assistance funds—as well as flexibility for landlords to obtain resident consent—to ensure that funds will be paid directly to the property owner on behalf of the resident and that the financial obligations of the property are met. Rental assistance is necessary to pull the country back from the brink of a housing and financial crisis. Learn More: See the Emergency Rental Assistance program eligibility requirements and access Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding program requirements BACKGROUND Most recently, on January 20, the Biden Administration extended the federal ban on evictions through March 2021 with an executive action. Previously, on December 21, 2020, Congress passed an additional round of COVID-19 relief legislation that included funding for rental assistance. Before, on September 4, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared a “temporary halt to residential evictions to prevent the further spread of Covid-19.” This eviction moratorium applies to all residential housing. Further, it applies to all renters who self-certify they meet four criteria. The criteria are: Make less than $99,000 (single) or $198,000 (married); This is expected to cover more than 95% of all rentersHave used their best efforts to obtain rental assistance;Are unable to pay full rent due to loss of household income, hours or wages, lay-offs, or extraordinary out of pocket medical expenses; note this does not have to be COVID-related ANDIf evicted, would likely become homeless or need to move in to a residence that is shared by other people in close quarters On May 15, 2020, The House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act which included substantial rental assistance, however the new eviction moratorium covers a much larger population of renters, around 95%, placing the vast majority of housing providers in jeopardy.