City Waiting for $23M in Rental Assistance Funds

NEW ORLEANS — The Mayor’s Office of Housing Policy and Community Development today announced it has approved applications for payment that will use the $18,266,472 in U.S. Treasury Funds sent directly to the City for its rental assistance program.

The City said the funds were dispersed in two tranches referred to as “ERAP Round 1” and “ERAP Round 2” The second round of funds came with more flexible guidelines that allowed the approval process to be completed more quickly. Specifically, funds can be offered to tenants first, giving the tenants the ability to resolve their past due balances with their landlords after receiving the funding. Also, the City of New Orleans (funding grantee) can more freely accept tenant certifications when income documentation is unattainable. This option is particularly helpful in New Orleans when many tenants seeking assistance are in gig and hospitality industries that often pay in cash. 

The City is expected to receive additional Round 1 funds from the State in the amount of $14,076,444 and $9,204,985 in Round 2 funds from the U.S. Treasury. Mayor Cantrell has written a letter to the Secretary of Treasury, Janet Yellen, requesting the release of the Round 2 funds and further urged that the flexible guidelines associated with the Round 2 funds be made available to the unspent portion of Round 1 funds not yet received from the State of Louisiana. On a local level, the City has asked that the State move quicker in releasing the remaining Round 1 funds allocated to New Orleans.

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In anticipation of additional funding, another community event is being planned to reach applicants with application numbers from 5,001- 10,000. The last community event serviced application numbers up to 5,000. Payments for applications approved at the rental assistance event held at Warren Easton High School on July 7- 9 will be released on or around July 23.

Applicants who are approved at the upcoming event will receive a letter for their landlords advising them that the applicant has been approved for assistance and will receive funding once additional funds become available. 

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