As states and communities continue to be impacted by COVID-19, Congress is looking to provide much needed funding for farmers and rural communities.
The American Rescue Act is the latest in a string of federal covid relief bills designed to get funds to the most critical of impacted areas including rural communities hard hit by COVID. Housing assistance provisions in the bill include:
- $24.7 billion dollars for Emergency Rental Assistance with $2.5 billion allocated specifically for high-need communities. $21.6 billion is allocated directly for state and local governments.
- $139 million for several rural housing assistance programs
- $5 billion to provide rental assistance and supportive services, to develop affordable rental housing for those experiencing homelessness.
- $20 million is allocated to support fair housing activities including homeowner assistance and housing counseling with $10 billion going directly to states and local governments.
- $4.5 billion for utility assistance including $500 million for drinking water.
Significant funds totaling over $350 billion in emergency funding will be disbursed directly to states, tribes, territories and local governments over the next months thanks to the American Rescue Act with some funds coming directly from the Treasury Department, Department of Housing and Urban Development and other agencies. At minimum each state will receive $500 million. This is in addition to the funds allocated specifically for housing. Additionally, there is funding left over from the 2020 CARES Act from the Treasury Department to address the housing crisis exacerbated by COVID-19.