It is no surprise that the Presidential administration “thumbed its nose” at the U.S. Supreme Court. This morning I read a memorandum issued by the Cleveland Municipal Housing Court relative to the reimposition of the CDC eviction moratorium. The memo stated that they are waiting for either the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on it or for it to expire on October 3, 2021. This means that most in the legal community are well aware of what the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a little over a month ago.
Instead of complaining about this situation, let’s shift our attention to something more positive and proactive. It is time for each reader of this email to take a few moments, do a quick Google search to find the phone number for your local member of Congress, and contact his/her district office while he/she is home on summer recess during August. Ask what he/she is doing as a member of Congress to ensure that all the money appropriated by them for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is being quickly and accurately delivered to tenants and landlords.
The handling of the ERAP has been in stark contract to that of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). PPP loans were completely new a little over a year ago; however, once the Treasury allocated the money and the Small Business Administration (SBA) began set forth the initial framework, that money was then released and made available to lenders for lenders (the private sector) to begin immediately making loans knowing how the program was going to work. PPP was so successful that it ran out of money quickly and was reauthorized and funded a second time. That money was quickly disbursed to businesses that needed it.
Unfortunately, the same thing is not happening with the ERAP. It was allocated in two blocks totaling more than $49 billion. To date, only $3 billion has been distributed. Once Congress allocated the money, they practically stepped away and abandoned it. There is no ongoing insight, no ongoing updates or legislative action, and no direct daily interaction between Congress and the agencies responsible for getting the money distributed. The ERAP has so far been a colossal disappointment and is teetering on the brink of failure, in my opinion.
That is why it is time to contact your local member of Congress via a phone call or email to their local district office and ask them what steps they are taking to ensure the prompt and accurate distribution of the money they appropriated in the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.