Making Emergency Rental Assistance Easier to Obtain
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Section: August Associate Newsletter

Last Thursday, the Supreme Court blocked the federal eviction moratorium, increasing the urgency of helping older adults and caregivers obtain available rent and utility assistance. New online tools can help renters who are behind on payments or facing eviction get assistance to stay in their homes. 
The Rental Assistance Finder from the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) helps tenants and landlords take advantage of emergency rental assistance that can be used to cover rent, utilities and other housing costs. Users can find their local program by searching by state and county. The tool has links to information about who qualifies, how the money can be used and how to get help applying from a housing counselor.
Help for Homeowners and Renters During the Coronavirus National Crisis is another CFPB portal that provides information on a variety of situations. The “Help for Renters” section includes a link to learn about any steps that state and local governments have taken to stop evictions as well as tenants' legal rights. 
The Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide for People At Risk of Eviction from the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness is an interactive online tool to help people take advantage of not just emergency rental assistance but also state and local moratoriums, legal and housing aid, economic impact payments, and more. The Council's flyer is an easy way to inform your community. 
Aging Network organizations can inform and assist older adults and caregivers with applications, which may be easier due to new federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) flexibilities. A first step is contacting the state and local ERAPs to ask about regional eviction bans and ways to partner. Organizations also can contact their local emergency rental assistance program to learn if a county has an eviction moratorium and to explore ways to assist older adults with navigating the application process.