CITY RECEIVES $9.5 M EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE ALLOCATION; RECOGNIZED AS HIGH-PERFORMING GRANTEE
NEW ORLEANS — This week, the City of New Orleans received an additional funding allocation in the amount of $9.5 million from The U.S. Department of the Treasury to support renters and landlords during the COVID-19 pandemic, through the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program. The City was also recognized as a high-performing government grantee because of the success in expending more than 75 percent of the funding received in advance of the new disbursement.
“The City of New Orleans remains committed to ensuring our most vulnerable citizens receive much-needed support during a time in which housing and healthy environments are vital to ending the pandemic,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “We are grateful for this monumental recognition as a high-performer, and as a leader in Louisiana and across the nation in providing financial assistance for tenants and landlords severely impacted by the virus. Although we are helping so many in our city, the need is greater than the resources available. We remain focused on filling that gap until all of our people are served.”
“Treasury is happy to provide these state and local government programs with additional resources to support Americans in need of rental assistance,” said Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo. “We are also committed to reallocating resources to ensure assistance reaches struggling tenants and landlords during the pandemic.”
New Orleans received the additional allocation on Monday, Sept. 13, following disbursements of $11.6 million in February and $6.3 million in June, totaling $27.4 million received in ERA allocations. The City’s Office of Housing and Community Development spearheaded the rental assistance program that has served more than 4,000 Orleans Parish residents by organizing community outreach and awareness events to reach those in need.
Much of the landlord engagement efforts also involve broader educational resources to address small landlord financial needs, such as foreclosure mitigation. The ERA program has helped a large percentage of small landlords who occupy multi-family residences, manage the financial downturn that resulted due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The City focused a great deal of efforts on neighborhood engagement and is actively working with the courts to help those facing eviction, receive fast-tracked emergency rental assistance.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the release of its remaining more than $13 billion in funding under the second wave of the ERA, available to high-performing state and local government grantees. The program is creating a national infrastructure fund for rental assistance that previously did not exist. The Treasury Department recognizes that many state and local governments faced a difficult task early on in building the assistance infrastructure needed to get ERA funds quickly to eligible households.
By early February, Treasury disbursed the full $25 billion available in the first round of ERA to state, local, and Tribal governments, along with $8.6 billion in additional funds made available in early May through the second round of ERA under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Nearly 50 grantees spent more than 70 percent of their first ERA allocation by July 31, including in some of nation’s largest metro regions that have adopted Treasury’s best practices.
In response to an increasing number of grantees expending their existing funds, Treasury launched a process for high-performing grantees to draw down the remainder of their ERA funding. Grantees were eligible once they substantially expended their first allocation and obligated at least 75 percent of the second allocation that was previously disbursed.
To help further expedite the disbursement of additional rental assistance funding, the Office of Housing Policy and Community Development will host a third community-based assistance event Tuesday, Sept. 21 through Thursday, Sept. 23, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Joe Brown Recreational Center (5601 Read Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70127). Anyone who has applied for rental assistance from the City of New Orleans and has not been assisted may attend. City employees will be onsite to provide updates and review documentation for rental assistance applicants. Translators and legal assistance will be available, and social distancing and masks will be required.
For more information on the City’s ERA Rental Assistance Program, visit nola.gov by clicking here.
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