Kids Matter Index Rating on Emergency Rental Assistance: YES, this bill is good for Idaho Children
The state of Idaho received $175 million in Emergency Rental Assistance from the federal coronavirus relief package passed in December 2020. These funds can be used to ensure every Idahoan has a stable and safe place to live during the pandemic by providing rental assistance to those at risk of facing eviction or homelessness. Our bipartisan organization, Idaho Children Are Primary, urges lawmakers to approve the full $175 million allocation of these funds in order to address widespread housing instability and a lack of access to statewide rental assistance.
Rental assistance saves money by preventing homelessness. Here in Idaho, it is 5-10 times more expensive to find new housing for families versus keeping a family in their house. It is now estimated that 34,000 Idaho households are at risk of eviction and up to $148.5 million in rental assistance will be needed to ensure every Idaho family is stably housed through June 2020.
Approving rental assistance is in the best interest of Idaho’s children. Nationally, households with children are disproportionately impacted by housing instability as a result of the coronavirus. As “Rent Eats First,” many of these same households with children are also experiencing food insecurity and are struggling to pay other household expenses.
Emergency Rental Assistance is good for Idaho's renters and landlords. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) enacted a federal eviction moratorium (ban) that protects most renters from eviction for unpaid rent through the end of March 2021. The moratorium requires renters to pay as much of their rent as possible, but unpaid rent continues to accumulate. Rental assistance will play a critical role in maintaining the financial stability of those who rely on rents for income, while simultaneously ensuring thousands of Idaho renters do not face eviction when the legal protections are lifted.
Ensuring Idahoans remain stably housed supports Idaho's long-term economic recovery. A failure to provide adequate Emergency Rental Assistance to our communities has expensive consequences. A recent study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates that costs associated with eviction related homelessness could cost Idaho taxpayers between $172 million and $412 million.
ICAP Advisory Board Members
MD J John Rusche
MD Cindy Wilson
MD Cristina Leon
DO Jarom Wagoner