The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act was passed by Congress this week! It delivers significant direct aid to New York State and New York City and urgently needed assistance will go to households most impacted by COVID-19 including housing assistance for renters, homeowners and those experiencing or at risk of being homeless. We thank Senator Schumer and the entire NY delegation for fighting for housing assistance. The full text of the bill can be found here.

Housing assistance provisions include:

  • $27.4 billion in emergency rental assistance, of which $21.55 billion will be directed through Department of Treasury’s Coronavirus Relief Fund.
    • $2.5 billion will be distributed to high-need communities. In February, we wrote to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer expressing our concerns about the rental assistance allocation formula. We thank Senator Schumer for being responsive to these concerns and advocating for additional funding for high-need communities. These funds will be distributed based on the number of very low-income renter households spending over 50% of their income on rent or living in substandard or overcrowded conditions, rental market costs, and employment trends.
    • Grantees will receive 40% of funds within 60 days of enactment and will receive additional disbursements after obligating at least 75% of funds already dispersed. Funds are available until September 30, 2025 but Treasury will begin to recapture and reallocate excess funds after March 31, 2022.
  • $5 billion in emergency housing vouchers. After September 30, 2023, a public housing agency may not reissue any of these emergency vouchers when assistance for the family ends.
  • $100 million to rural USDA-financed housing
  • $750 million to tribal nations

We anticipate at least $1 billion in rental assistance will come to New York plus additional assistance in high-need funding and Section 8 vouchers. This is in addition to $1.3 billion New York received in December.

$5 billion in Homelessness Assistance: This funding is to provide rental assistance and supportive services but may also be used to develop affordable housing, including acquisition of non-congregate shelters like hotels to be converted into permanent affordable housing.

We anticipate New York City will receive $273m and New York state will receive $94m.

$10 billion in Homeowner Assistance:

  • The bill provides $9.96 billion to help homeowners experiencing hardship through the Homeowner Assistance Fund administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. $39 million will assist rural homeowners through USDA’s Section 502 and Section 504 direct loan programs.
  • At least 60% of these funds must be used for homeowners at or below 100% of area median income (AMI) and any remaining funds must prioritize socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
  • Homeowners will be able to use this funding to prevent mortgage delinquencies, defaults and foreclosures as well as towards utilities, internet services, homeowner’s insurance and homeowner’s association fees.

$120 million for housing counseling and fair housing activities

For a more a comprehensive summary of housing and homeless assistance see NLIHC. Thanks to Rep Ritchie Torres NY-15 for discussing bill with us before his vote today!