WASHINGTON – Earlier today, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo participated in a roundtable discussion hosted by Housing Initiative Partnership (HIP) in Hyattsville, Maryland where he heard from tenants, landlords, community leaders and administrators of Prince George’s County’s effective Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program.
Despite having to build their program largely from scratch, Prince George’s County has already distributed 83% of its first allotment of ERA funds to more than 3,200 Prince George’s County tenants and landlords. Following Treasury’s February guidance encouraging programs to reduce burdensome documentation requirements, the county now relies on self-attestations and income-based proxies based on census tract data to determine eligibility for about half of all applications. Program administrators said this allows them to serve more people both because it speeds up the approval process and makes the program more accessible to low-income communities.
Prince George’s County also adopted Treasury’s May guidance to distribute assistance directly to tenants in cases where landlords are uncooperative. They prioritize applications where the tenant is facing eviction and have developed relationships with legal aid services, county judges, and the local sheriff’s department. All eviction notices now include information about applying to the ERA program. They continue to look for creative ways to increase awareness of the program, including launching a mobile clinic this fall to help landlords and tenants sign-up.