Rental Assistance Activities

What do I need to know about rental assistance activities under the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing components?

The table below summarizes the types of eligible rental assistance, as well as the allowed length of assistance by type.

Looking for definitions of the common CoC and ESG Program terms referenced throughout the Virtual Binders?

Virtual Binders Glossary

Types of Rental Assistance

Length of Assistance

Short-Term Rental Assistance

Up to 3 Months

Medium-Term Rental Assistance

4 to 24 Months

Payment of Rental Arrears

One-time payment of up to 6 months, including any late fees for the tenant’s portion of arrears


The maximum amount of rental assistance paid to a program participant cannot exceed 24 months during any 3-year period, including any payment for last month’s rent.

Rental assistance can either be:

  • Tenant-Based: program participants select a housing unit in which to live (may be within a specified service area) and receive rental assistance
  • Project-Based: recipients or subrecipients identify permanent housing units that meet ESG requirements and enter into a rental assistance agreement with the owner to reserve the unit and subsidize its rent so that eligible program participants have access to the units

For more information about eligible rental assistance activities, please refer to § 576.106 of the ESG Program Interim Rule and the ESG Program Components Virtual Binder.