Program

COVID-19 Federal Assistance e311

Topics

Housing & Rental Assistance

Can a municipality spend funds from the second tranche of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (“ERAP2”) before depleting all funds from the first tranche (“ERAP1”)?

Guidance from the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) does not indicate whether ERAP1 funding must be depleted before beginning to use funds from ERAP2.

In order to maximize the use of ERAP funding, to the extent that an activity is eligible under ERAP1, a municipality may choose to utilize ERAP1 funds until ERAP1 funds are exhausted. Additionally, ERAP1 funds are available until September 30, 2022, while ERAP2 funds are slated to remain available until September 30, 2025. 

Each ERAP program is intended to support low-income households at risk for homelessness and effected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts in making rent and utility payments.[1] There are differences, however, between ERAP1 and ERAP2, some of which may make certain activities or costs assignable to one program but precluded from the other. A non-exhaustive list of differences includes:

  • ERAP1 requires that eligible households demonstrate financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the pandemic, while ERAP2 requires, among other things, the demonstration of financial hardship during the pandemic but may not be directly or indirectly related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.[2]
  • ERAP2 can be offered directly to renters when landlords do not accept ERAP payments.[3]
  • ERAP1 requires contact first be made with landlords and utilities before funds are offered to renters, while ERAP2 does not include this requirement.[4]
  • ERAP1 limits household eligibility to 12 months (with 3-month extensions available under certain circumstances), while ERAP2 sets a cap of 18 months of household support combined between ERAP1 and ERAP2.[5]

Additional resources for ERAP include:

Last Updated: June 8, 2021

[1]    U.S. Department of the Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Program landing page, ‘Keeping Families in their Homes’, https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/coronavirus/assistance-for-state-local-and-tribal-governments/emergency-rental-assistance-program.

[2] U.S. Department of the Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Frequently Asked Questions, Q1 (ii), at 1-2, https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/ERA2FAQs%205-6-21.pdf.

[3] U.S. Department of the Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Fact Sheet, at 2, https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/FACT_SHEET-Emergency-Rental-Assistance-Program_May2021.pdf.

[4]     Id.

[5] U.S. Department of the Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Frequently Asked Questions, Q10, https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/ERA2FAQs%205-6-21.pdf.