Major companies, non-profits, and government agencies from the Social Security Administration to the Department of Veterans Affairs, to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have answered the Biden-Harris Administration’s Call to Action to spread the word and alert Americans that emergency rental assistance is available. The combined commitments announced today – part of an ongoing all-out push to make sure tenants and landlords take advantage of federal rental assistance to help cover rent, utilities, and other housing costs and keep people in their homes – could reach tens of millions of Americans.
The continued call to action coincides with the launch of a new rental assistance finder produced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Americans who may be behind on rent can go to ConsumerFinance.gov/RentHelp and input information on their location to find local rental assistance programs in their area and apply for assistance.
Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, billions of dollars in federal rental assistance is available to renters who are behind on housing costs, as well as landlords who have struggled during the pandemic. The Administration is building on a whole-of-government effort and engaging a wide variety of stakeholders to spread awareness of the CFPB’s new tool, as well as the resources available to assist tenants and landlords.
Emergency rental assistance is available to tenants in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., territories, and in Tribal areas, and will continue to be available after the expiration of the CDC eviction moratorium on August 1, 2021. The continued Call to Action builds on the groundwork laid over the past several months by the Administration to engage renters and landlords, including hosting two virtual convenings with thousands of participants to share best practices on eviction prevention and build local plans of action, streamline guidance for the rental assistance program to make it easier and more efficient, and engage agencies across the federal government to help get the word out to households in need.
For more general information about the Emergency Rental Assistance program, visit the unified federal housing assistance portal hosted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Agencies across the federal government, non-profit groups, faith-based organizations, and private sector companies are responding to the Biden-Harris Administration’s call to action to raise awareness. We expect that these efforts will reach tens of millions of Americans.
Private sector and non-profit commitments include:
- PayPal, where many pay their rent and monthly bills, will include messaging on emergency rental assistance and a link to the CFPB look-up tool in their PayPal and Venmo apps and on paypal.com.
- Square, Inc. will provide information about the CFPB tool and emergency rental assistance on Cash App – a popular place to pay rent and bills that as of December 2020 had more than 36 million monthly transacting active customers – and on their Square Seller Community platform.
- GoFundMe will send direct emails to roughly 20,000 people who have recently started fundraising campaigns in the “food, rent, or monthly bills” category on the GoFundMe site.
- Lyft will spread the word about emergency rental assistance and the new CFPB tool via a blog post for the Lyft Community.
- Avail, a property management application that touches landlords and renters, will send emails directly to their users and will post a banner on their website with an anticipated reach of at least 21,000 people per week.
- Propel, a mission-driven financial technology company, will connect more than 5 million low-income families to resources to help them receive emergency rental assistance.
- National Apartment Association will send an alert to their 90,000 members nationwide.
- National Multifamily Housing Coalition will share the CFPB tool with their 10,000 members through emails and a newsletter.
- The National Low Income Housing Coalition will include a link to the CFPB tool on their website, place an article about the tool and emergency rental assistance in their newsletter which is distributed to 135,000 people, and will brief stakeholders on their weekly call.
- United Way will raise awareness through their state associations and by sharing the information with the United Way Financial Stability Cohort.
- The Arc, a non-profit dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, will send an email with the information to their 600 national chapters.
- Children’s Defense Fund will share the information with their state offices and will publish a blog post promoting the CFPB tool.
- Operation HOPE, a non-profit organization dedicated to poverty alleviation and financial inclusion for low and moderate-income youth and adults, will share the CFPB tool and information on emergency rental assistance with a network of over 180 community-based financial coaches and will include the information in their weekly news briefing which reaches over 60,000 people.
- Bread for the World, a faith-based organization dedicated to poverty and hunger alleviation, will host regional events throughout the country with local faith leaders and churches to educate them about emergency rental assistance.
This Call to Action remains open to everyone – other companies, non-profits, faith-based organizations, and more can answer the Call to Action by leveraging their own communications channels to spread the word.
Commitments from the Administration include:
- The Department of Veterans Affairs is sharing the information in a newsletter that reaches 12 million veterans.
- The Social Security Administration is creating a new, special web page in both English and Spanish dedicated to emergency rental assistance and linking to the CFPB tool.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture is building off of previous outreach efforts by sending letters to 65,000 people who live in USDA multi-family properties who are not receiving rental assistance; sharing information with Food Nutrition Service Regional Leads who will then share information with State Departments of Social Services that work with SNAP recipients; and holding a webinar in the coming weeks to provide background on emergency rental assistance.
- The Department of Health and Human Services is leveraging the communications channels of several of its operating divisions to spread awareness. Specifically:
- The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is sharing the information about emergency rental assistance with 200,000 community-based organizations that serve people with disabilities and older adults, many of whom are low income and at higher risk for eviction.
- The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is amplifying the existence of emergency rental assistance and the new CFPB tool with program grantees who can pass along information in the communities they serve.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is sharing the information about emergency rental assistance with healthcare providers and local health departments, and is putting the information on the CDC’s COVID-19 website.
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is incorporating messaging around the CFPB tool and emergency rental assistance into call center scripts and will share with partners via their listserv.
- Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is promoting the CFPB tool and emergency rental assistance via the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and the Federal Office of Rural Policy.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is sending emergency rental assistance information to state offices of mental health and homelessness coordinators throughout the country that work with the Projects for Assistance in Transition for Homelessness (PATH) program. The PATH program provides support to individuals with serious mental illness who are experiencing homelessness.
- The Department of the Treasury is sharing the CFPB tool with state and local governments and tribes who are administering emergency rental assistance programs.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development is hosting webinars for non-profit groups and faith-based organizations and is developing their own website to distribute information on emergency rental assistance.
- The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness is distributing information about emergency rental assistance through a newsletter that reaches over 34,000 people.
- The Census Bureau will share the CFPB tool and information on emergency rental assistance with members of their Census Counts and States Count lists. The Census Counts list includes over 60 national organizations with a deep investment in meeting the needs of marginalized communities and the States Count list includes partners in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.