the government learned it can help prevent evictions
and why we need to reauthorize school meal waivers by the end of this month!
I’m proud to share a story today on the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, or ERAP, which was the $46.5 billion program Congress authorized to help renters stay housed during the pandemic. If you heard much about it, it was probably the press coverage it received from its early few months, when it was getting slammed (fairly) for not getting money out the door to tenants, and for just general bureaucratic chaos.
Journalists are drawn to covering chaos, failing programs, fraud. And there are good reasons for that. But I was truly surprised when I started reporting on ERAP back in April, to learn just how much the hundreds of programs evolved since last spring and summer, to learn how different the ERAP programs ended up being from so many of our other existing housing aid efforts, and why.
For this story I talked with tenants, local housing leaders, researchers + academics, and officials from Treasury, HUD and the White House. As pandemic-era funds dry up and evictions creep back up (along with inflation) it’s a really important time to understand what we’ve done and what we still could do, especially now that we’ve already done the hard work of building administrative capacity to do it. You can read that here.
I also had a story from earlier this month that’s still relevant — on why Congress needs to reauthorize federal school meal waivers by the end of this month. We do not need to let millions of children go hungry this summer and next year, and there’s still time to avoid this horrid cliff. School lunches are not immune to the supply chain + inflation crisis and school districts nationwide are begging for one more year of flexibility to make sure students can be served.
Thanks for reading,