June 16, 2020

How Local Governments and States are Responding to Covid-19 Through Policy

Federal relief through the CARES Act has enhanced the capacity of states and local governments to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. As funding is allocated, governments have been tasked with planning for the deployment of those dollars — and Enterprise Community Partners has worked around the country to ensure that housing relief is a prioritized as those funding commitments are made. One example of this commitment is evident through the work Cleveland, Ohio has recently announced.

The City of Cleveland has committed $11.3 million of its CARES Act HUD funding to provide emergency rental assistance programming. Of the over $11 million in funding, Community Development Block Grant dollars provided to use specifically in response to the pandemic (CDBG-CV) will be allocated to provide three-months of emergency rental assistance for qualified individuals earning up to 80% of the area median income (AMI). Homeless Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) and HOME dollars in response to the pandemic provide additional assistance for impacted tenants through short- and medium-term shallow subsidies for up to an additional six-months. Emergency rental relief will be issued directly to landlords on behalf of impacted tenants.

Next steps for the City of Cleveland include a request for proposals for third-party entities to operate the program. Localities seeking to utilize funding in this way should also prioritize swift implementation so that the distribution of funding for qualified residents can be made ahead of any adverse actions. More information about Cleveland’s program is available in this article.

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