Voices from the Idaho EdNews Community

Time is running out: Ask our leaders to approve the Supplemental Appropriation for Emergency Rental Assistance

Few things impact our lives and the lives of our families more than our homes. A home is considered affordable when a family pays no more than 30% of their income towards rent. Research shows that the homes people live in affect a family’s access to a quality education, health services, and nutritious food.

Unfortunately, after the pandemic, many Idaho families with children are only one unexpected economic hardship away from experiencing an eviction.

Our Legislature has the task of voting to draw down $15.5 million of Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) from federal relief funding. These funds have already been used to keep over 26,000 families housed during the pandemic, and continued access to these funds can prevent more Idaho families from facing eviction. The Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy discusses the benefits and continued need for these funds in their new report.

Emergency Federal Rental Assistance is Critical for Continued Eviction Prevention in Idaho – Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy (idahofiscal.org)

This critical issue needs to be addressed by our Legislature in a timely manner. If this vote and signature by the governor does not happen by January 31, 2023, many Idahoans, including children, will become housing insecure and/or evicted and homeless. It is critical that this funding be approved as soon as possible. The number of students experiencing homelessness increased from 4,758 students to 7,820 students in the last 10 years. The impacts of housing instability, evictions, and homelessness follow children for the rest of their lives.

The Nampa School District has seen first-hand the positive impacts that Emergency Rental Assistance has had on children and their families.

  • The single father trying to live off a monthly disability check of $986 and raise two children that was able to utilize these funds until he could secure a long-term housing subsidy.
  • The family of six who have three special needs children and were in an emergency shelter despite both parents working full-time. That family was able to find a unit and utilize these funds for several months of forward rent.  This assistance was vital in helping this family gain stability after moving out of their homeless experience.
  • The single mom working two jobs and raising four children who almost lost her housing when she was injured, causing her to miss work and fall behind on rent.
  • The single mom with her adult disabled son and teenage daughter who fell behind on rent when the adult son was hospitalized causing the mother to miss work. The daughter tried to help by working over 25 hours a week while also trying to complete her senior year of high school, but it was not enough, ERA helped them keep their unit.

The Nampa School District has assisted countless families with accessing ERA funds, but these are not “countless” families.  They are parents, they are grandparents, they are children; they are our neighbors.  Emergency rental assistance helps families with children regain financial stability, which creates positive ripple effects throughout their families and their communities. 

Please, contact your legislator and speak up for these kids who need help from responsible adults, and ask them to immediately approve the Supplemental Appropriation for Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA)!

Natalie Sandoval, MSW, Homeless Education Liaison
Nampa School District
[email protected]


Natalie Sandoval

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