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On January 5, the Consolidated Appropriations Act created the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA) to assist households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ERA allocates $25 billion to local governments (both counties and cities) with a population of 200,000 or more.

Recipients can only use the funds to provide assistance to eligible households with rent and rental arrears, and utilities and home energy costs and arrears. Using ERA funds to pay for mortgage relief is outside the scope of the program and is not permitted.

The deadline to apply for the ERA is January 12.

Eligible grantees for the ERA funds are counties or cities with populations of more than 200,000 residents. At least 90% of the funds must be used to provide financial assistance to eligible households. The deadline for grantees to obligate the funds is September 30, 2021. Treasury has the power to recoup any unused funds. Grantees may also transfer any unused funds to their respective state to utilize in their assistance program before the September 2021 deadline.

Eligible household is defined as a renter household that has a household income at or below 80% of the area median and at least one individual living in the household: (1) qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and (2) can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.

Eligible households may receive up to 12 months of assistance, plus an additional 3 months if the grantee determines the extra months are needed to ensure housing stability and grantee funds are available. Either eligible households or landlords may submit an application for rental assistance through programs established by grantees.

Eligible grantees are directed to make payments to a lessor or utility provider on behalf of the eligible household, unless the lessor or utility provider does not agree to accept such funds from the grantee, in which case the grantee may make such payments directly to the eligible household for the purpose of making payments to the lessor or utility provider.

Individuals in need of mortgage assistance are notably left out of the ERA.


The deadline to submit the application for ERA funding is January 12. This application consists of a short list of terms and conditions, a form designating bank information for the receipt of funds, and a signature page.

Carrington Coleman’s Suggestion

Eligible counties and cities should submit the ERA terms and conditions as soon as possible. For counties and municipalities who received Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF), the amount disbursed under the ERA will likely be significantly less, but will still be a substantial amount that is important for assisting local communities. Final disbursement amounts are not yet available.

While there are still many outstanding details surrounding the ERA program, we recommend that counties and municipalities who meet the population requirement optimize these funds to assist those struggling to afford housing in their communities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Questions? Please contact:

Bruce Hendrick Ted Harrington Kylie Jennings
214.855.3033 214.855.3115 214.855.3080

Carrington Coleman is proud to announce our 12 attorneys selected as 2019 Texas Super Lawyers. The Super Lawyers list recognizes no more than five percent of attorneys in each state. Carrington Coleman attorneys were recognized in 8 different practice groups.

Monica Latin, Managing Partner-Elect, and Litigation Practice Group Leader was also named to the Top 50: 2019 Women Texas Super Lawyers list.

Our attorneys named to the 2019 Texas Super Lawyers and their practice area of recognition include:


The Dallas Business Journal named Lance Currie to its list of 40 Under 40. Currie, a partner with Carrington Coleman Sloman Blumenthal, LLP, will be recognized with 39 other impressive honorees in a special publication of the Dallas Business Journal and at an awards event on March 20.

More than 350 eligible nominations were submitted this year, representing nearly every industry of North Texas. In the end, judges selected the most impressive group of 40 individuals under age 40.

Currie, a construction and real estate attorney, stood out to judges for his courtroom success. His clients have included household names in Dallas — such as DFW Airport, Southwest Airlines and AT&T. In a recent example of his work, he resolved a real estate dispute for AT&T more than 20 years in the making.

“He is an example of why this year’s class of honorees is so impressive,” said Tracy Merzi, publisher of the Dallas Business Journal. “His work at Carrington Coleman is truly noteworthy.” Currie stays equally busy away from the courtroom with active roles in leadership development organizations.

“As President and CEO of the Chamber, I watched Lance re-make the Young Professionals,” said Dale Petroskey, president of the Dallas Regional Chamber. “His theme was ‘Leave Your Mark,’ and he challenged YP members to leave their marks on their community, each other, and themselves.”


Carrington Coleman is proud to share that D Magazine has named our partner Alex More as one of Dallas’s Best Lawyers Under 40. This recognition is all the more meaningful given that D Magazine has not published a list of the best lawyers under 40 in over a decade. Alex specializes in high-stakes litigation involving securities and fiduciary duty issues.  When not in court, he also serves as off-site General Counsel to businesses and entrepreneurs.

To read more about Alex, please visit his bio.


We want to express our care and concern for our clients and other family and friends who may have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. As portions of the region begin to take stock of the damage, we want to note an important amendment to the Texas Insurance Code that takes effect this Friday, September 1, 2017. The law creates new provisions governing all claims for damages caused by “forces of nature,” including hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and other events.

If you or anyone you know has property damaged by recent events that could be covered by insurance, there are advantages to giving the insurer notice of the claim by this Thursday, August 31. In some circumstances, if appropriate, policyholders may even want to consider filing suit before Friday to avoid some of the procedural obstacles the amendment creates.

If you have questions or concerns about the effect of the new law, please contact Lyndon Bittle.; 214-855-3096.