Home National housing Van Hollen and Cardin urge state to immediately use emergency rental aid...

Van Hollen and Cardin urge state to immediately use emergency rental aid or risk losing funds

2
0

05 November 2021

Senators call for update on state’s progress and plans to avoid losing funds to help Marylanders stay home

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) Sent a letter to Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development Secretary Kenneth Holt urging the state to immediately use the funds from Emergency rental assistance provided by the federal government to help struggling Marylanders. to stay at home. In their letter, the senators stress the urgency of the matter, noting that Maryland risks losing its funds if they are not used quickly. Senators also point to Maryland’s glaring lack of progress in distributing these funds, falling far behind our neighboring states and the District of Columbia. Senators Van Hollen and Cardin fought for the inclusion of these funds in COVID relief measures passed by Congress and secured more than $ 258.1 million in direct support in Maryland to help families stay at home . According to recent data cited in the letter, 101,000 Maryland households are behind on rent and 119,000 children live in these households.

The Senators start:We are writing to urge you to immediately increase the disbursement of Emergency Rent Assistance (ERA) funds allocated to the State of Maryland to prevent these funds from being revoked by the Treasury Department as of November 15, leaving tens of thousands of Marylanders needlessly vulnerable. at the risk of losing their home.

“The State of Maryland has received $ 258.1 million directly to help families stay in their homes by providing financial assistance in the form of rents, utilities and arrears. Although it received its funding in early February, according to public data released by the US Treasury Department, as of September 30e Maryland spent only 26% of its allocated funds. During the same period, the national average of ERA funds spent by all state and local grantees was significantly higher, at 46%. Neighboring jurisdictions – Virginia (80%), Washington DC (99%), and Pennsylvania (36%) – have all spent more of their funding at this point compared to Maryland, as has all beneficiaries of local government in Maryland, particularly Anne Arundel County (74%), City of Baltimore (85%), Frederick County (71%), and Prince George County (88%), ” They continue.

They insist on the urgency of this matter, writing, “The consequences of not increasing household assistance are serious and imminent. Maryland’s eviction moratorium protections expired on August 15, making rent relief through ERA the last hope for many tenants to stay in their homes. And according to recent data from the National Equity Atlas, there were 101,000 Maryland households in arrears with rent and 119,000 children in those households as of September. Maintaining stable housing for these families and in particular for children must be a top priority. “

And note that by Trésor, “Unless Maryland takes other action, state funding may be revoked and reallocated because it does not meet the spending or obligation requirements set out above.”

In light of these developments, we urge you to expedite the use of these funds for eligible households as soon as possible, and ask you to provide us with an update on the steps the Department is taking to submit the improvement plan. program required, meet maintaining minimum spending ratios set by the Treasury Department, and ensuring Marylanders are able to receive the help they need from this program to stay home, ” conclude the senators.

The full text of the letter is available here and lower.

Dear Secretary Holt,

We are writing to urge you to immediately increase the disbursement of Emergency Rent Assistance (ERA) funds allocated to the State of Maryland to prevent these funds from being revoked by the Treasury Department as of November 15, leaving tens of thousands of Marylanders needlessly vulnerable. at the risk of losing their home.

As you know, in December 2020, Congress adopted the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which provided $ 25 billion for the provision of Emergency Rent Assistance (ERA) to households facing unemployment or other financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The State of Maryland received $ 258.1 million directly to help families stay in their homes by providing financial assistance in the form of rents, utilities and arrears.

Although it received its funding in early February, according to public data released by the US Treasury Department, as of September 30e Maryland spent only 26% of its allocated funds. During the same period, the national average of ERA funds spent by all state and local grantees was significantly higher, at 46%. Neighboring jurisdictions – Virginia (80%), Washington DC (99%), and Pennsylvania (36%) – have all spent more of their funding at this point compared to Maryland, as has all recipients of local government grants in Maryland, specifically Anne Arundel County (74%), City of Baltimore (85%), Frederick County (71%), and Prince George County (88%) .

The consequences of not increasing household assistance are serious and imminent. Maryland deportation moratorium protections expired on August 15e, which makes rent relief through ERA the last hope for many tenants to stay in their homes. And according to recent data from the National Equity Atlas, there were 101,000 Maryland households in arrears with rent and 119,000 children in those households as of September. Maintaining stable housing for these families and in particular for children must be a top priority.

Added to this urgency is the fact that on October 4, 2021, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Adeyemo sent a letter to all ERA beneficiaries outlining the process for reallocating uncommitted ERA funds, in accordance with the legislation passed by Congress to maximize the amount of assistance provided and the number of households served by the program. According to these guidelines, a state that does not spend at least 30% or oblige 65% of its funding by September 30e will be considered to have surplus funds unless he is able to certify by November 15the that he has met these requirements and submits a program improvement plan to the Treasury Department. We have since been advised by the Treasury Department that unless Maryland takes further action, state funding may be revoked and reallocated because it does not meet the spending or obligation requirements set out herein. -above.

In light of these developments, we urge you to accelerate the use of these funds for eligible households as soon as possible, and ask you to provide us with an update on the steps the Department is taking to submit the improvement plan. program requirements, meet maintaining minimum spending ratios set by the Treasury Department, and ensuring that Marylanders are able to receive the help they need from this program to stay home. Please let us know if we can help you, and thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Truly,

###


Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here