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Renters assistance program in Ada County comes to a close

 two red and white for rent signs are posted in a grassy strip next to a grey brick wall.
Ashley Brown

A program to help struggling families pay rent in Ada County was closed last week.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program was created 28 months ago to help give financial assistance to families impacted by COVID-19. The program is ending because they are running out of money.

"It is one of those programs in that the funding was always intended to be temporary in nature," said Deanna Watson, executive director of the Boise City/Ada County Housing Authorities.

Watson says they were initially given a 25 million dollar budget for struggling families in 2021. The U.S. Treasury Department provided more money, and in the end, the program gave out 70 million dollars.

People behind on rent will be prioritized before the money offiically runs out. The program helped about 15,000 families and shows the need for rental support.

"We need to step up and figure out a way to do a better job of helping people in need," says Watson.

The Boise City/Ada County Housing Authorities currently assists 2,800 families ever month monthly through housing choice vouchers and low rent public housing programs.

I'm Richard and I started in 2022 as a summer intern. I graduated from University of Idaho in 2023 and am working as a newsroom assistant. Currently, I am doing stories on a variety of subjects to get a better understanding of different beats. However, I would love to cover stories about diverse issues.

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