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Emergency Rental Assistance Can Help Older Adults Facing Evictions

Evictions of older adults are anticipated to rise as eviction moratoria lift, according to a recent Generations blog post. One way n4a members can support older adults is by learning about what emergency rental assistance is available in your communities. AAAs can proactively inform older adults about the assistance available to them, refer older adults and caregivers to programs and legal services, or help them navigate the application process or provide transportation.

COVID-19-related unemployment persists for many older workers, and those who had low-wage jobs may not have had savings to help cover rent. Further, many older adults have rent payments that exceed 30 percent of their income, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the affordable housing crisis. Another important role is for AAAs to advocate for refinements in programs to address challenges that older adults may encounter in accessing the assistance to retain their homes. 
 
The national eviction moratorium currently expires on June 30. Although a federal judge ruled the eviction ban unlawful in early May, that ruling is on hold while the federal government appeals the decision. Many state and local moratoria have been lifted or will end soon, putting older renters at risk of being evicted if they are behind on rent. 
 
Emergency rental assistance is available to help with paying rental debt and future rent, utilities and moving costs, as summarized in the U.S. Department of the Treasury fact sheet. Program requirements vary, and populations who most need the support may not know it is available, may be hesitant to seek assistance, or have trouble with the application process. 

For additional information, one source is the National Low-Income Housing Coalition's Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Resource Hub.

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