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September 2021Vol. 22, No. 8Letter From the Associate Commissioner to Child Welfare Leaders on Rental Assistance for Struggling

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many families need housing assistance to maintain stability. In this time of uncertainty, many renters have struggled to pay rent, and landlords have struggled with the loss of rental income. To help ameliorate these financial challenges, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is partnering with the U.S. Department of Treasury to encourage tenants and landlords to take advantage of emergency rental assistance available through the American Rescue Plan Act, which will help cover rent, utilities, and other housing costs to keep residents in their homes. Read the letter from Associate Commissioner Aysha E. Schomburg to child welfare leaders that includes information on the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, emergency housing vouchers, child welfare and child abuse prevention funds, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and pandemic emergency assistance funds, and additional suggestions and resources.

The American Rescue Plan Act provides $4.5 billion in additional funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help families afford home heating and cooling costs and unpaid electrical and gas bills. In addition, ACF is administering over $1 billion in funding to assist with drinking water and wastewater bills through the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP).

For additional information on federal rental assistance by state, visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) website for resources and information-available in English and Spanish.