Rental assistance to tenants—42 U.S.C. 5305(a)(8) is modified to permit rental assistance for up to 24 months (State of Louisiana only).
The Department has received a request from the State of Louisiana to provide up to 24 months of tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA) to households impacted by a covered disaster when those households do not meet the definition of a "displaced person" under the URA. Existing CDBG regulations allow these payments to cover rent and utilities for a short period of time as a public service activity under 42 U.S.C. 5305(a)(8), but these payments cannot extend for so long that they no longer qualify as an eligible public service activity. Following a disaster, however, households may be forced to abandon their residences and may be unable to return if the damage to the units have made them uninhabitable. Furthermore, scarcity of affordable replacement units in the recovery period following a disaster, and security and utility deposits can further exacerbate affordability concerns for tenants. This waiver and alternative requirement will provide additional time to stabilize persons or households in permanent housing and is consistent with the goal of preventing homelessness.