Pandemic-era rental assistance ends

The Montana Department of Commerce’s Montana Housing Division announced last week it will no longer accept applications for the pandemic-era Montana Emergency Rental Assistance Program (MERA) starting Friday, March 24, 2023. MERA, which began providing rental assistance to Montana households during the pandemic in 2021, reaches its end as the pandemic-era U.S. Department of the Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance program runs out of funds available to states.“Montana has stretched what funding was provided from the U.S. Treasury through ERA a long way,” said Cheryl Cohen, Administrator of the Montana Housing Division at the Montana Department of Commerce. “Our program has served twice the number of Montana households than we projected we could serve, while continuing to provide assistance using ERA funding for Montanans for a longer period of time than most states in the nation provided under their ERA programs.”

Montana was among the first states to launch its Emergency Rental Assistance program after the federal funding was announced.

To ensure funding is available to approved applicants for as long as possible, the Montana Housing Division encourages the reporting of any potential MERA fraud to its ARPA hotline: 1-844-406-2772 (ARPA).


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