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Comprehensive Q&A on how to use local funds for rental assistance

Posted on May 11, 2020

BOSTON --- Following up on many questions raised during the April 22 webinar before 500 participants, MHP Senior Program Manager Shelly Goehring has compiled a comprehensive Q&A on how to use local funds to run an effective, short-term emergency rental assistance program.

The Q&A is the latest effort by MHP to respond to the many communities who have asked about using local funds for emergency rental assistance to help residents impacted by COVID-19. As soon as Gov. Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency, communities began asking MHP’s community assistance team about how to use local funds for emergency rental assistance (ERA). 

Working with the Community Preservation Coalition and Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association, Goehring published guidelines and then organized a virtual webinar on April 22. The webinar provided an opportunity for local leaders to hear panelists and ask questions about how to help residents impacted by COVID-19.

Time did not permit webinar panelists to answer all questions so Goehring has compiled a comprehensive Q&A that addresses many issues involved in using local funds to run effective short-term, emergency rental assistance programs.

The Q&A released today complements other ERA resources created by MHP during the COVID-19 state of emergency:

For more information, email Goehring at sgoehring@mhp.net.

 Virtual meetings move housing forward

Another issue MHP has been tracking is how communities are using special legislation and three executive orders to review housing proposals and grant permits during the state of emergency.

MHP municipal expert Katy Lacy - a former town planner - has been paying particular attention to how municipalities are setting up virtual meetings and providing adequate public notice and access to participate. On May 7, she posted a municipal roundup based on conversations with a dozen communities.

Previously, Lacy published an explainer on the law and three executive orders signed by Gov. Baker to help municipalities govern during the state of emergency. For more information on this issue, email Katy Lacy at klacy@mhp.net.