Many grantees who have quickly implemented their ERA programs were able to do so by leveraging existing local partnerships with nonprofits and community organizations already working on housing stability issues. These local organizations are integrated into the community and can provide holistic support across a variety housing stability, food security, financial, and health services. Some grantees have made efforts to integrate their ERA programs into “one program” with other relevant services, allowing program providers to identify appropriate resources to address the full range of applicants’ needs.
Grantees that reported strong partnerships with nonprofit program providers emphasized that these relationships rely on building a shared vision and infrastructure that supports continuous communication about ERA program development, program requirements and definitions, and the flow of ERA applications/payments.
Partnerships between grantees have also allowed for more consistent application experiences within the locality. In some cases, grantees have found administrative economies of scale by partnering with neighboring grantees or overlapping jurisdictions. Partnerships between grantees can ensure that funds reach the highest need communities while guarding against awarding duplicative benefits to residents.
The city of Charlotte, NC
The city of Charlotte, NC has developed a highly collaborative relationship with a local affordable housing nonprofit. Information collected from the nonprofit feeds into a data-system that keeps city administrators informed about program outcomes. The city and nonprofit have regular communications, and the city maintains a regular schedule of program auditing to support quality control and real-time problem solving, allowing the program to continually adjust to changing programmatic needs.
Montgomery County, PA
Montgomery County, PA has intentionally partnered with a preexisting network of homelessness and eviction prevention activities. Outreach and program implementation occur through six community-based nonprofit organizations spread geographically throughout the county. These include organizations that specialize in provide culturally and linguistically competent services to the hardest hit areas of the county. These organizations maintain a common information system and use the local housing crisis response’s coordinated entry system, which connects applicants with a range of relevant services and programs.
The State of Ohio
Similarly, the State of Ohio implements their ERA program through 47 nonprofits across the state that offer a range of services. These organizations use a common backend system that helps to align program requirements and guard against duplication of benefits. The state regularly coordinates communications about program challenges and best practices, creating a channel for more efficiently cultivating program development.
Clark County and the Cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson, NV
Clark County and the Cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson, NV created the CARES Housing Assistance Program (CHAP) and work together through local nonprofits sharing a common data system online. These nonprofits have also managed hiring temporary staff to help with application processing, allowing the programs to more easily scale depending on application volumes.