City Council Authorizes Additional Federal Funding to Support Emergency Rental Assistance Program 2 (ERAP2)
Today, City Council passed an ordinance amending the 2021 Annual Appropriation for Fund 925 grants for $102 million of federal funding for Chicago’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). The funding will be used for a fourth round of rental assistance, ERAP2, through the Department of Housing (DOH). Fifty percent of the total amount must be obligated by March 31, 2022.
Up to 10% of the total funds can be used for housing stabilization services, and assistance does not have to be associated with financial impacts due to COVID-19, as with ERAP1. DOH will have through September 2025 to issue grants.
ERAP1, DOH’s third round of emergency rental assistance program since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a total of 26,843 applications during the three-week open application period. ERAP1 includes nearly $80 million funded through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation Act signed into law by Congress in December 2020 to provide up to 15 months of rental assistance, 12 months of past due payments and three months of future payments, and utility payment assistance for impacted renters. DOH, The Resurrection Project, and other community partners are currently processing applications and distributing funds to applicants.
In March 2020, DOH opened its first rental assistance program funded with $2 million from its Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund and provided 2,000 one-time grants of $1,000 to assist renters. The department received over 83,000 applications in the first round, illustrating the deep need across the city. Ahead of the second round, the Chicago Housing Assistance program, launched with the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) supported by funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and Chicago’s philanthropic community. Through this second round, DOH and DFSS provided over $33 million in assistance to over 10,000 households. In addition to direct financial relief, DOH has funded pro-bono eviction counseling for low-and moderate-income Chicagoans and authored and passed several ordinances, including the COVID-19 Eviction Protection Ordinance and the Fair Notice Act, to protect renters.
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