3/2/2022 in News & Media, Press Releases

NFHA launches Frontdoor Interactive Web Service to Connect Renters to Assistance

The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) has developed an interactive web service that quickly connects renters who need support to pay their rent or utilities to programs that can provide assistance, addressing a problem that has become more acute because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic dislocation that followed it.

Frontdoor, as the web service is called, is designed to counteract housing instability, which was exacerbated by the pandemic by streamlining the process of distributing emergency assistance. It links renters to programs for which they are qualified, regardless of where they live in the U.S. An in-depth guide can be emailed or downloaded so that renters can be prepared to complete the processes needed to secure assistance. The guide is available in Spanish as well as English and is mobile-friendly.

Frontdoor went live today, March 3, 2022, and can be accessed HERE.

“Rental assistance helps 8.7 million people in rural areas, cities, and suburbs, and the ensuing economic crisis has only exacerbated that number as eviction moratoriums have expired,” said Michael Akinwumi, NFHA’s Chief Tech Equity Officer. “The Frontdoor web service was created to help renters navigate the complex and time-consuming rental assistance process and connect them to programs they may be eligible for. NFHA’s vision is for everyone to be stably and safely housed, and this new web service is just one tool we are proud to offer.”

Since the onset of the pandemic, 30-40 million renters have faced the possibility of eviction as one in six renter households fell behind on payments. Before the pandemic, Black and Latino households, which were more likely to be cost-burdened—compelled to spend 30 percent or more of their income on rent—have been more likely to fall behind. The risk of eviction increased after a Centers for Disease Control, and Prevention eviction moratorium was ended forcibly by an August 2021 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Congress recognized the vulnerability of millions of renters during the pandemic and passed two pieces of legislation that provided major support. The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CARES Act), passed on December 27, 2020, and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP Act), passed on March 11, 2021, provided more than $46 billion in emergency rental assistance. But many states haven’t prioritized getting the funds into the hands of consumers who need it. As of December 2021, only 65% of the money appropriated, or $30 billion of the $46 billion in funding, had been allocated, while only about $16 billion has been expended on rent, utilities, and arrears.

Until now, there have been few efforts to match renters with programs for which they are eligible. One, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) Rental Assistance Tool, recommends programs throughout the United States but only based on state and territory information or tribe or tribal lands information, where applicable. Another, the Virginia Relief Program, only supplies information to residents of that state.

Frontdoor overcomes both of these limitations with a recommendation system that can connect a renter to specific, useful application information in as little as 10 minutes. It streamlines the process of distributing rental assistance by reducing the time a renter needs to search for aid regardless of the applicant’s geographic location.


NFHA is the country’s only national civil rights organization dedicated solely to eliminating all forms of housing and lending discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities for all people. As the trade association for over 170 fair housing and justice centered organizations throughout the U.S. and its territories, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.