Doug Jarrett Authored NMHC Article on FCC COVID Benefit Program
Keller and Heckman Senior Counsel Doug Jarrett authored the National Multifamily Housing Council (MNHC) article, “$3.4 Billion FCC COVID Broadband Benefit Program Available to Multifamily Industry.” The article discusses how the Consolidated Appropriations Act, enacted in December 2020, established several key COVID-19 relief programs for multifamily operators and residents, including the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). However, a lesser-known program and set of funds is the new $3.4 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program being administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). One aspect of the FCC’s decision could be a major benefit for Multiple Dwelling Unit (MDU) owners of properties at which bulk internet service is offered to low-income residents.
As with the ERAP, eligibility is broadly defined in hopes of reaching all those in need, including those residents who lost their jobs due to COVID-19, regardless of previous income. Eligible low-income households must elect to participate and their enrollment in the program must be confirmed by the interested broadband providers. Some residents may qualify, others may not, and some residents may decline to participate. The EBB Program is also available for student and senior housing properties.
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