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President Signs Year-End Legislation Enacting Emergency Rental Assistance & Permanent 4% LIHTC Rate

Pamela Atwood, Director of Housing Policy

UPDATE 1/12/21:

Wednesday, January 6th the U.S. Treasury Department released guidance concerning the release of $25 billion for emergency rental assistance. The guidance outlines the process which qualifying state and local governments must follow in order to draw down Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) earmarked for emergency rental assistance per last month’s enacted COVID-19 relief package. Unlike CRF monies from the previous CARES Act which were automatically allocated to qualifying areas, states and localities must “certify” with the Treasury Department in order to receive the new funds. The North Carolina jurisdictions that qualify for CRF rental assistance are as follows:

Charlotte city
Durham city
Fayetteville city
Greensboro city
Raleigh city
Winston-Salem city

Buncombe County
Cabarrus County
Cumberland County
Durham County
Forsyth County
Gaston County
Guilford County
Johnston County
Mecklenburg County
New Hanover County
Union County
Wake County

For more details on the Treasury Department certification, please visit: Emergency Rental Assistance Program | US Department of the Treasury

Qualifying cities/counties must complete certification by 11:59pm EST (1/12/2021) in order to receive funds.

As of this writing, the Coalition is awaiting a final confirmation of which cities and counties were able to complete the certification process and will be receiving direct CRF funds to provide rental assistance. Overall, the state (across local government and the state) is estimated to be receiving approximately $700 million. For details please see below. 

After a chaotic holiday weekend, President Trump finally signed the year-end omnibus legislation containing additional COVID-19 relief, appropriations, and tax code changes. The enacted bill finalizes crucial relief measures and necessary spending and tax measures. Most critical to housing are the following measures:

  • $25 billion in emergency rental assistance, including $701 million to North Carolina,
  • A month extension of the CDC Eviction Order to January 31, 2021,
  • Extension of CARES Act spending deadline, and
  • Permanent minimum 4% LIHTC rate.

For more details on the COVID-19 housing relief measures please visit this breakdown from NLIHC. 

The President had threatened multiple times to veto the bill for numerous reasons. Had the President vetoed the package of legislation millions of people would be at-risk for immediate homelessness, the federal government would have faced a shutdown, thereby causing more havoc for individuals and government agencies alike. 

There is no word yet as to whether or not the NC General Assembly will be convening for a Special Session in order to appropriate resources heading to the state or if they will do so upon convening the regular long Legislative Session in January 13th. The Coalition will share news on that front as we learn of any developments. 

Please see our previous alerts for more details on the omnibus legislation. The Coalition will provide more information and analysis in the new year. Please join us for the next Housing Call on January 5th.

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