The housing crisis continues to grow in the D.C. area. But there is some potentially good news for renters in the District.
A recent request from Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office to move out $20 million from the District’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) was blocked by the D.C. Council on Tuesday.
Councilmembers discussed ways to keep the rental assistance program open at a Nov. 7 council meeting.
Officials said that when ERAP, which helps D.C. residents earning less than 40% of the area’s median income avoid eviction, opened for applications in October, it crashed. The system received a total of 3,578 applications.
“The need for ERAP is obvious, which is why we focus so much on it in the last budget,” Councilman Robert White said. “We have already passed legislation barring unnecessary evictions from rapid-rehousing without a transition plan
He added those applications “represent thousands of residents, who without assistance, would be at risk for eviction.”
White and Council Chairman Phil Mendelson put up a disapproval resolution to prevent money from being taken from ERPA. The council voted unanimously in support.
The council’s focus on offering rental assistance comes after the D.C. Attorney General’s office filed a lawsuit earlier this month against 14 of the city’s largest landlords alleging widespread rent collusion.