Representatives Derek Kilmer and Denny Heck introduced H.R. 6314, the Emergency Rental Assistance Act of 2020.
In a release, Kilmer’s office states that this legislation would increase short-term rental assistance for most Americans by significantly expanding the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program.
H.R. 6314 would provide $100 billion to ESG for short-term rental assistance.
This funding would be given out to states in two chunks:
This legislation would also expand who can receive these funds by allowing those at 80% of area median income (AMI) to receive ESG, a significant increase from current law.
Finally, while the bill would require localities to report on use of these funds, the reporting requirements would be significantly more flexible for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis, including the allowance of virtual public hearings.
Since 2011, ESG funds have been used for short- or medium-term rental. These funds are distributed through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program formula, where states and localities apply for ESG through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Hundreds of states and localities receive these funds each year, which they allocate to eligible local government entities, nonprofits, public housing authorities, and local redevelopment authorities. These organizations distribute the grant money to individuals and families.