by Tribune Staff
The City of New Orleans has been approved for an additional $25 million grant by the U.S. Department of Treasury to fund the Emergency Rental Assistance Program launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials announced earlier this month. The City expects to receive the additional funding within the next 30 days to distribute to tenants and landlords that remain in need of assistance.
The Mayor’s Office of Housing Policy and Community Development (OCD) recently requested to receive the grant directly from Treasury to expand the program, in addition to the $14 million earmarked for New Orleans by the state. Previously, the City had been required to submit documentation on expended amounts for review and reimbursement to the State, which impeded the distribution process.
“This approval from the U. S. Department of Treasury is a major milestone for the City of New Orleans, as we are no longer required to wait on funding reimbursements from the State to assist our most venerable residents — and that’s huge,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “It also provides us with an opportunity to solicit unutilized dollars from the state, because we were able to successfully prove to the state and federal government that the need still exists. We will continue to prioritize putting dollars in the hands of residents, and we are grateful to the Department of Treasury for allowing us to expand this necessary program as we respond to this ongoing pandemic.”
Since the launching of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, the City has received $27 million and has provided payments to over 11,000 households. The City also administered the first Eviction Diversion Program in Louisiana and held several community-based rental assistance events to provide direct application assistance to tenants and landlords and offer multiple remote locations to collect supporting documentation from applicants.
“The OCD staff will be back in the community assisting tenants with rent and utility payments later this month. This community-based approach has been extremely helpful with receiving documentation, providing updates, and assisting residents with their housing needs,” said Marjorianna Willman, Director of the Office of Housing Policy and Community Development.
Tenants who have received eviction or disconnect notices can visit the Mayor’s Office of Housing Policy and Community Development located at 1340 Poydras Street, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. for assistance. Masks and social distancing are required. Translators are also available.