Pandemic Relief: The Emergency Rental Assistance Program [Updated October 21, 2021] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Introduction: "The Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program was created to help cover the unmet rent and utility expenses of low-income households affected by the economic consequences of the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic. It has received two rounds of funding. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. [Public Law] 116-260) initially funded the ERA program with an appropriation of $25 billion. The ERA program was funded through the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), a program created as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136), and administered by the Department of the Treasury, to assist state, local, territorial, and tribal governments. While the CARES Act CRF [Coronavirus Relief Fund] appropriation could be used for multiple purposes, the ERA appropriation in P.L. 116-260 was directed only to rent and utility assistance and related housing stability services. A second appropriation--of $21.550 billion--for ERA was included in Section 3201 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (P.L. 117-2). This report briefly describes the need for rental assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, provides information about the allocation of ERA funds, describes the parameters of the ERA program, and discusses outstanding questions about the program and renter needs."
CRS Report for Congress, R46688
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/