The act creates the emergency rental assistance grant program (grant program) in the division of housing (division) within the department of local affairs (department) to provide grants to residential tenants who have an annual household income of 80% or less than the area median income and are at risk of eviction or displacement. The division administers the grant program and contracts with nonprofit organizations to award grants. Grants are paid from money in the housing development grant fund.
To receive a grant, a tenant must apply through the division's statewide application portal. Grant money may be expended only by a nonprofit organization that contracts with the division. Permissible uses of grant money include only the following:
- Paying rent in arrears, rent presently owed, and rent up to 2 months in advance on behalf of a grant recipient;
- Paying utility bills, late fees, court costs, reasonable attorney fees, and any other costs associated with preventing a tenant's eviction;
- Paying costs associated with relocation, including deposits and other move-in expenses, on behalf of a grant recipient;
- Paying for efforts to generate awareness of the grant program among tenants who are at risk of eviction or displacement;
- Paying for project delivery costs associated with application review as determined by the division;
- Paying for housing stability services, as defined within the implementation guidelines of the federal department of the treasury; and
- Paying costs of administering the grant program.
Contracted nonprofit organizations must report to the executive director of the department (executive director) regarding amounts and uses of grant money awarded. During the 2024 regular session of the general assembly, the executive director must report to the joint budget committee and the legislative committees with oversight of local government matters concerning the grant program.
Within 3 days after November 28, 2023, the state treasurer must transfer $15.1 million from the general fund and $14.9 million from the revenue loss restoration cash fund to the housing development grant fund for the purposes of the grant program. The division must use the money by June 30, 2024. Any unencumbered portion of the money on June 30, 2024, reverts to the general fund or to the revenue loss restoration cash fund, as applicable.
The grant program is repealed, effective June 30, 2025.
APPROVED by Governor November 28, 2023
EFFECTIVE November 28, 2023
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)