WASHINGTON – Today, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo traveled to Middletown and Hartford, Connecticut to discuss the state’s effective Emergency Rental Assistance program and outreach efforts to enroll families to receive advance Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments under the American Rescue Plan.
In Middletown, Deputy Secretary Adeyemo joined Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Connecticut Housing Commissioner Seila Mosquera-Bruno, other state and local officials, as well as several landlords and tenants in Middletown for a roundtable discussion about UniteCT – Connecticut’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program. Connecticut’s ERA program has seen significant improvement after adopting additional Treasury’s flexibilities and increasing its community outreach efforts. To date, Connecticut’s ERA program has distributed $73 million in assistance to 13,341 struggling tenants and landlords.
To reduce unduly paperwork that slows down application processing and can be a barrier to those most in need, the program relies on fact-based proxies and categorical eligibility to establish income. For example, UniteCT works with public schools closely to promote the ERA program and to streamline the application process for families enrolled in services like free or reduced price school lunch. Connecticut is also a national leader in program outreach. During his visit, the Deputy Secretary toured the UniteCT bus the program is using to sign people up out in their communities. They have also integrated into an existing network of housing counseling agencies and resource centers, as well as faith-based organizations, municipalities, and organizations with municipal ties. Even before the Supreme Court’s ruling reversing the Centers for Disease Control’s eviction moratorium, Connecticut required landlords to apply for ERA before seeking an eviction and has additional protections in place for tenants who have applied for ERA while their application is being processed. Treasury has encouraged all states to put protections like these in place, including in a recent letter sent by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, and Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Marcia L. Fudge to the country’s governors, mayors and judges.
In the afternoon, Deputy Secretary Adeyemo visited the Hartford Public Library for a roundtable discussion about the advance CTC with Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin; Bridget Quinn, President and CEO of Hartford Public Libraries; Paula Gilberto, President and CEO United Way of Hartford; social service providers working with families eligible for CTC payments; and families receiving CTC relief. In August, the Internal Revenue Service issued $142.3 million in CTC payments to 360,000 Connecticut families, covering 580,000 children. Today’s event marked the launch of the city’s CTC sign-up campaign, which will be led by librarians trained on how to sign-up non-filers using the new bilingual and mobile-friendly tool announced by Code for America in collaboration with Treasury and the White House on Wednesday. Hartford’s new program will work to enroll additional families.