Last week, the House Financial Services Committee reported a marked-up Expediting Assistance to Renters and Landlords Act of 2021 (H.R. 5196) to the House, which, if enacted, would make significant changes to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). The bill would allow landlords to apply directly for back rent even when tenants are unresponsive, as long as the landlord provides notice to the tenants. Landlords using this pathway, are unable to evict the tenant for up to 120 days and must rescind any eviction notice or filing.
Grantees must accept self-attestation of tenants and provide payments directly to tenants when the landlord is unresponsive or refuses to participate. The bill would also extend the program to provide up to 24 months of assistance, 20 of which could cover arrears and four of which could cover future rent. The bill also provides $50 million in funding for outreach to increase public awareness and technical assistance for grantees. The section-by-section summary is available here.
Reconciliation requires that all provisions within the bill be budgetary in nature. Several provisions within this legislation would likely not be able to be included in a reconciliation bill. The legislation could pass on its own or be included in an appropriations bill or continuing resolution that funds the government ahead of the September 30 deadline.