Montana Emergency Rental Assistance (MERA) Program

Montana received funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) to be used for the Emergency Rental Assistance program. The MERA program stopped accepting applications for rental assistance on March 24, 2023, to ensure the federal funding would not be over-expended and to allow for a proactive approach to evaluate the best use of any remaining funds. Please see the dashboard below to view the results of the MERA rental assistance program.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury guidance outlines the eligible uses for the program, which includes various rental assistance, housing stability supports, and eviction intervention. In addition, Treasury provides guidance on the use of these funds, once certain criteria have been met, to fund Other Eligible Uses (FAQ #46).

Other Eligible Uses includes funding for the construction, rehabilitation or preservation of affordable housing projects serving very low-income families (at or below 50% Area Medium Income) as well as the operations of such housing. The Montana Department of Commerce has decided to focus on the construction, rehabilitation or preservation of affordable housing.

In addition, Commerce continued our partnership with Montana Legal Services Association to fund the Montana Eviction Intervention Program (MEIP). MEIP has worked to prevent eviction and homelessness by:

  • Helping people understand and navigate the eviction process;
  • Enforcing renter rights to safe housing;
  • Negotiating with landlords; and
  • Providing housing navigators to assist clients in finding alternative housing.


How many Montana households has MERA helped? 

House with mother and child
Total Number of Montana Households Helped


father and child on front step
Households That Received Housing Stability Support


eviction notice on door
Households Receiving MERA funded Montana’s Eviction Intervention Services


Potential Fraud Prevented

$50 million

Total Amount of Rental Assistance Paid

$136.5 million

Average Amount of Assistance Paid


Montana Total Rent Paid

$50.1 million

Rental Arrears Paid

$55.1 million

Total Utilities Paid

$3.4 million

Utility Arrears Paid

$4 million

Rehabilitation Funded

94 Units Effected

New Construction Funded

34 Units

Households may have more than one application in the system. Figures shown here are not static and continue to change. Data through the 4th quarter of 2023. Source: Montana Department of Commerce’s Housing Division.

Other Available Assistance

Montana Housing administers a variety of other, on-going federal rental assistance programs such as the Housing Choice Voucher (commonly known as Section 8) program. MERA recipients are encouraged to apply to the Housing Choice Voucher waitlist by visiting:
Interested applicants can select “APPLY NOW” to be added to the regional waitlist they prefer.

Additional options including applying for a Project Based Section 8 or Low-Income Housing Tax Credit affordable property. Details for these properties are available at:; and (select “Current list of Tax Credit Properties”).

A variety of additional resources for individuals, families and seniors are linked on our website at Search available housing listings at

Finally, Montana 211 can connect individuals with community resources, services and assistance, including identifying options for housing and shelter needs.


Montana Emergency Rental Assistance program publications are being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award numbers ERA0425 and ERAE0032 awarded to State of Montana by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.