Article

Emergency Rental Assistance Program & American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

June 3, 2021

On December 27, 2020 the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the “Act”), was signed into law. While the Act has many provisions, one measure of relief created was the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (“ERA1”). ERA1 was created to assist households that are struggling with rent and utility payments or other expenses as further defined in the Treasury’s FAQ’s. On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”) was signed into law and expanded upon ERA1 to create additional funding under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program referred to as ERA2.

The chart below summarizes some of the important information and differences between the ERA1 and ERA2 programs contained in the Treasury’s FAQ’s:

For a full list of all questions and answers, please visit the Treasury’s FAQ’s.

Other considerations:

  • Ensure you have clear process and controls related to each program documented in writing.
  • The ERA1 is considered more restrictive for certain eligibility determination factors. If determined eligible under ERA1, a household will most likely be considered eligible under the ERA2 program.
  • Ensure that you are segregating what funding you are using under ERA1 rules versus ERA2 rules.
  • Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (“CFDA”) for both programs is 21.023.
  • Grantees must document how they plan to prioritize households at or below 50% area median income and those with members that have been unemployed for at least 90 days. The grantee must post publicly how they are accomplishing this by July 15, 2021.
  • If a grantee receives Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (“LIHEAP”) funding, the grantee may want to coordinate the use of ERA1 and ERA2 funding with this program to maximize the use of these funds. While LIHEAP funds can only be used for certain periods of time and for utilities, the ERA1 and ERA2 funding has other uses like rent that LIHEAP funds cannot be used for.

Reach out to the Cherry Bekaert Government Services Group for questions or further information on this program.