NEW ORLEANS - The Council's Budget Committee recommended approval today of $11.6M in federal funding for the City’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
The rental assistance funding is part of the recently passed federal Coronavirus relief bill. Congress approved the Coronavirus Relief Fund in late 2020. The fund, administered by the US Treasury, provides $25B in Emergency Rental Assistance funding to local governments. Cities with populations of at least 200,000 can apply directly to the US Treasury for rental assistance funding. The City applied and received an $11.6M allocation.
All $11.6M will be allocated to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program run by the Office of Community Development. Rental assistance will be available to households impacted by COVID-19 and earning 60% or less of the area median income (AMI). Priority will be given to households experiencing unemployment at the time of application that earn 50% AMI and/or are in danger of eviction. Any awarded rental payments may be used to pay up to 12 months of back due rent.
Either a renter or a landlord on their renter’s behalf can submit an application. Program rules prohibit applications for the same household from both the landlord and the renter: one household, one application.
“When we look at economic recovery efforts from COVID-19, we must ensure that we take an inclusive approach that accounts for all persons facing economic distress,” stated Councilmember and Budget Committee Chair Jared C. Brossett. “The pandemic has impacted not only our renters but also our landlords. I am glad that this allocation recognizes that and allows applications from either the renter or the landlord on the renter’s behalf.”
With the unanimous support of the Budget Committee, the funding ordinances are headed to the City Council for a final vote. They will be taken up at the Council’s next regular meeting on Thursday, February 11.