The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded $2 million in funding to assess the impact of the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program. Three awardees, Abt Associates; Princeton University; and the University of Pennsylvania in collaboration with the University of California at Berkeley, will receive the funds under the FY2022 Impact Evaluation of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program Notice of Funding Opportunity. The studies will produce policy-relevant evidence on the impact of the ERA program on people and communities, with a focus on housing stability and eviction outcomes.
As part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ERA program was established by Congress to assist households experiencing financial hardship with rent and utilities costs. The program, administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, was funded in two phases: ERA1 and ERA2. This research will evaluate the impacts of both ERA1 and ERA2.
“Past research on ERA has looked at the design of the program and performance outcomes, such as number of households served, expenditure rate, and the number of completed applications,” said Solomon Greene, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary within HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research. “The insights gained through this research can help policymakers understand if the availability of ERA helped reduce eviction rates and improve other measures of housing stability, while controlling for factors such as individual-level characteristics, neighborhood characteristics, trends in eviction, and local eviction moratoria.”
To date, Treasury estimates state, local, territory, and Tribal ERA grantees have expended or obligated more than $40 billion and made more than 7 million unique household payments. Existing research shows that ERA funds overwhelmingly went to population groups at highest risk of eviction, including Black renters, renters with lowest incomes, and female-headed renter households.
“The Emergency Rental Assistance program is an unprecedented program that Treasury and hundreds of grantees stood up to provide relief to millions of households in need,” said Verónica Soto, the ERA Program Director at the U.S. Treasury. “We’re excited to partner with HUD to better understand how Treasury and grantees’ policies contributed to the program’s impact in communities nationwide.”