State and local housing agencies across the country are tasked with implementing emergency rental assistance programs for households and landlords in a secure, equitable and expedient manner.
Funded by federal stimulus dollars, emergency rental assistance programs will help keep people housed as the U.S. recovers from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initial funding for the Emergency Rental Assistance program was $25 billion, which must be used promptly to support households struggling to pay rent and landlords who may have missed mortgage payments due to renter delinquency. Additional funding is also expected to be allocated by Congress.
To disburse funds to eligible households, housing agencies must qualify applicants, track housing status (including offering support services) and complete the rental assistance deployment.
Getting assistance funds to the right accounts with complete transparency and as efficiently as possible is a nationwide effort, and one that trusted real estate technology provider Yardi, a 40-year contributor to industry innovation, has the expertise to support.
Yardi has released a new end-to-end software solution designed specifically for emergency rental assistance management called Rent Relief. This cloud-based service and software platform has online portals for applicants and tenants, automated workflows to qualify applicants for assistance, and secure technology to compete financial transactions.
Rent Relief powered by Yardi provides an online portal for households in need to apply for rental assistance. The portal guides the user through the process of answering eligibility questions and uploading required documentation.
Housing agency staff can then log in to Rent Relief to complete the steps of verifying eligibility for assistance. Staff can communicate online with applicants to advise of case status updates, missing information, determinations of eligibility and more. Steps required to qualify vary by state and are configurable within Rent Relief.
Rent Relief is also the way approved households will receive funds in their bank account. The transactions are transparent and secure, leveraging Yardi’s industry-leading experience which includes managing more than 12 million U.S. residential units and processing monthly rent payments for more than 8 million apartments.
“Yardi is committed to do our part to help agencies keep renters housed as we endure the pandemic. We have nearly four decades of experience developing this type of full-service technology,” said Chris Voss, vice president of affordable housing and PHA at Yardi.
Yardi has consistently stepped up in crisis situations to offer funds, resources and expertise. In 2016, Yardi worked with the Provincial Government of Alberta to develop a searchable, easy-to-use housing registry after 2,000 homes were lost in the devastating Fort McMurray wildfire. In 2017, after Hurricane Harvey devastated southern Texas, Yardi created a regional housing site and hotline for displaced residents and also donated $1 million in disaster relief. That response was repeated after Hurricane Irma later the same year.
Last year, Yardi donated $1 million in support of rental support resources for the newly launched COVID-19 Rental Housing Support Initiative, a collaboration of The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), National Apartment Association (NAA), National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM).
If your organization has begun to implement an emergency rental assistance program and is in need of simple software dedicated to supporting the entire process, call Yardi at (800) 866-1144 or visit rentrelief.com.