DCP Issues Statement Regarding Paused Emergency Rental Assistance
Tue, Oct 18th, 2022
by DCP Staff
On Sept. 29, Maine Housing issued a statewide notification that the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA) would no longer be accepting new applications. Downeast Community Partners, as one of Maine’s 10 Community Action Agencies contracting with Maine Housing to administer ERA program, was informed that we could longer accept new, or renewed, applications for rent or electric utility assistance as of 5pm that day. Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA), as we were advised, was put on pause due to an uncertain funding future. (The ERA program, launched as a temporary support in March of 2021, is funded by federal funds authorized under a pair of COVID-19 relief laws.) Maine Housing, which requested more federal funding from the U.S. Treasury in July, announced this past Friday, October 14, that they had received word from the U.S. Treasury that Maine will not be receiving any additional ERA funding at this time. Maine Housing is engaged in talks with state and federal officials, including Maine’s U.S. Congressional delegation, around options related to this development. Without additional resources, the pause on ERA is effectively a cessation - just as COVID is on the uptick in Maine, and winter is arriving. The impact is devastating to hundreds of families. Downeast Community Partners joins Maine Housing and the Governor’s Office in urging Congress and the Administration to help Maine families make it through the winter.