(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser called on the United States Department of Treasury (Treasury) to expedite the reallocation of Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) funds from jurisdictions that have excess funds that have not been obligated. The District has requested from Treasury its final payment of the allotted $352 million, which is almost fully allocated to support residents with rent and utility assistance. The District also set October 27, 2021 at 7 pm. as the deadline for the Stronger Together by Assisting You (STAY DC) program, the largest rental and utility assistance program funded by ERA.
“We know this important federal resource has kept Washingtonians housed and made our city safer during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Bowser. “We thank the Biden administration for their commitment to what we know to be true in Washington, DC, that housing is a right, and urge Treasury to expedite reallocation of excess ERA funds.”
According to data provided by the Treasury through the end of August, the District is #1 per capita among all states administering ERA for amount of funds disbursed. The District is #2 among all states after New Jersey in percent of allocation spent. The District should be considered by Treasury in the reallocation of ERA funds from jurisdictions that have excess funds they have not obligated and intends to quickly deploy any additional funds received through existing programs.
“When residents needed assistance with rent and utilities, Mayor Bowser had their back by deploying federal ERA funds through STAY DC and existing programs,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “The District of Columbia should be proud of its deployment of these federal funds, and together we call upon our federal partners so we can continue to support DC residents in this unprecedented effort.”
“Every day at DHS we are engaging with residents who are suffering the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said DHS Director Laura Zeilinger. “It is essential to provide the financial support needed for people to stay in their homes. Housing is foundational to economic recovery at the family and community levels.”
“We will conduct outreach and in-person events through the 27th to ensure everyone has a chance to apply and demonstrate the great need for this assistance in Washington, DC,” said DHCD Interim Director Drew Hubbard. “We will be sure to communicate changes to the program loudly and clearly for our residents, beginning with this announcement.”
Since STAY DC launched on April 12, the District has helped over 23,000 District residents with nearly $155 million in rent and utility assistance. Currently $105 million of applications are being processed, which would help an additional 19,000 residents. A combined 97% of those receiving STAY DC rental assistance so far make less than 50% MFI ($64,500 for a family of four) and we expect this trend to continue for remaining applications. STAY DC funds helped families making less than 80% of the Median Family Income (MFI) with 83% going to individuals or families at 30% MFI and below, 14% supporting families and individuals at 50% MFI and below and just 3% at 80% MFI. Another $48 million in ERA spending on other rent assistance for households making less than 50% of the MFI makes for a combined $309 million that has been spent or is in process. Including spending on administrative and housing stability services, only $11 million in funding remains to continue accepting applications through October 27, 2021.
Before October 27th at 7 pm, renters and housing providers can still submit applications for rental assistance at stay.dc.gov or in-person at several pop-up events and application clinics throughout the city listed at stay.dc.gov/dcevents. Applicants can call the STAY DC Call Center at 833-4-STAYDC for support throughout their application process, Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm. The STAY DC program is administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS) in collaboration with the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services (DMHHS), and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
More information, including eligibility requirements, can be found at stay.dc.gov.