The recently enacted $2.3 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the Act), which combined a $900 billion coronavirus relief bill as part of a larger $1.4 trillion omnibus spending and appropriations bill for the 2021 federal fiscal year, contains key provisions that directly impact the hard-hit real estate industry. In particular, Section 501 of Subtitle A of Title V of Division N of the Act establishes the “Emergency Rental Assistance program” (ERA), which appropriates $25 billion through the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) to provide eligible households with direct financial housing assistance. The enactment of the ERA provides landlords, tenants, borrowers, potential buyers, financial institutions and small businesses with a necessary lifeline to weather the ongoing economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
From the $25 billion designated for rental assistance, $800 million is reserved for tribal communities and $400 million is reserved for U.S. territories, with the remaining funds to be distributed to state and local governments (grantees) within 30 days of enactment. Under the ERA, fund allocations will be based on a state’s population, with all states, and the District of Columbia, receiving at least $200 million. Local jurisdictions with populations of 200,000 or more may also apply directly to the Treasury for assistance, which would be reduced from the amount granted to the state in which the jurisdiction is located.
Reprinted courtesy of Marissa Levy, White and Williams LLP, Rachel A. Schneidman, White and Williams LLP and Nancy Sabol Frantz, White and Williams LLP
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