Program design that has become a model for the nation

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    Client: Connecticut Department of Housing (CTDOH)

    Relevance to DOA: Demonstrates how we bring a turn-key solution proven to work, and becoming the nationwide model of outstanding success of a state-run program.

    CohnReznick contracted with CTDOH to provide support for its Emergency Rental Assistance Program, UniteCT. Our duties included analysis of statutory language from the Consolidation Appropriations Act 2021. We worked with the CTDOH and the Governor’s Office of Policy Management (OPM) to develop the State’s policies and program eligibility requirements. We assisted CTDOH with the development of its program guidelines, application development, selection of its software vendor, coordination with local Housing Counseling Agencies (HCAs), implementation of application reviews, determination of applicant eligibility, and payment compliance.


    This $235 million program was designed to provide rental and utility payment assistance to qualified CT households financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The intention of UniteCT to help stabilize CT’s rental housing market while serving households at or below 80% of HUD’s Area Median Income required both effective policies and procedures and quick action to make eligibility determinations. 


    CohnReznick initially provided a small team of individuals to assist CTDOH with a review of various potential software vendors to function as the system of record and drive implementation for the UniteCT program. Based on a combination of factors, highlighted specifically by the pure volume of applications, we were tasked to assist CTDOH with program implementation. Our team assisted with design of the application, developing of the various stages of the review process, staffing of over 200 individuals, training and management, program payments, and data management and reporting. 


    Our firm managed 200+ staff simultaneously to perform in-depth reviews of applicant residency and income information and eligibility, as well as landlord ownership information and payment amounts. We assisted the State of Connecticut in disbursing over $195 million to 275K+ households in a period of less than 8 months, and helped shape Connecticut’s UniteCT program into one of the nation’s leading Emergency Rental Assistance Programs in terms of disbursements and program flexibility. The outstanding success of the program prompted the U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary to remark, “I will be referring people to the state of Connecticut when they ask me how to do this.”

    Subject matter expertise

    • Contact Frank Frank+Banda
      Frank Banda

      CPA, CFE, PMP, Managing Partner – Government and Public Sector Advisory

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