The Legal Aid Society lauded a plan reached by lawmakers to distribute more than $2 billion in federal rent assistance funds across the state, as reported by Law360.
The COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program of 2021 (CERAP) includes one year of protections against rent hikes and certain evictions as a condition for landlords taking the money – priorities that had been long sought by housing advocates throughout the state. A qualifying tenant or landlord will be able to apply to CERAP to cover a year of past rent stretching back to March 13, 2020.
Ellen Davidson, a housing attorney with The Legal Aid Society, acknowledged some sticking points – particularly concerning landlord participation in the assistance program – but offered overall approval of the final bill.
“I think there probably will be some disagreement around the margins, but in general this is a program that is flexible and seems to intend to get rent relief out as quickly as possible,” said Davidson.