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Washington, D.C. - Yesterday, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) spoke in support of an amendment offered by Representative French Hill (AR-02) to close a loophole in existing law which has led to fraud, waste, and abuse in the use of the Emergency Rental Assistance program. 

Specifically, Congressman Hill’s amendment would combat fraudulent tenant use of emergency rental assistance funds. It requires renters to notify landlords if they received emergency rental assistance payments, just as landlords are currently required to notify tenants when they receive rental assistance, so the renter knows their debts have been paid. Under the latest versions of the Emergency Rental Assistance legislation introduced by House Democrats, tenants are not required to notify landlords if they receive individual rental assistance payments, leading to a duplication of funds for COVID rental assistance and even the expenditure of relief money on things unrelated to the pandemic.

Watch Rep. Emmer’s Remarks here.

Read Rep. French Hill’s amendment here

“I’d like to strike the last word please.

Thank you. I will be quick with my time, but I want to express support for my friend, Mr. Hill’s amendment that addresses a possible oversight with the current law that is a redundant use of taxpayer dollars.

As my friend just explained, under the current law, if a property owner applies for and receives emergency rental assistance funds, they must let their renters know. Why? So, the renters can know if their debt was paid off.

But if a renter applies for the emergency rental assistance funds directly and received it, that renter is not required, under the current rules, to use that money toward rent. So, if a landlord received aid to pay off their renters’ debt, but a renter also received aid directly, that renter would be able to pocket the money. This is a significant loophole in the current law and a source of waste, fraud, and abuse on the taxpayers’ dime.

I am proud to support Congressman Hill’s amendment to clean up the current ERA rules and put our taxpayers’ money toward better use.

I yield back.”