“This is exactly what’s needed,” said Rachel Fee, the executive director of the New York Housing Conference, a policy and advocacy nonprofit. “We know that not all landlords are going to be willing to take this assistance directly.”

Kody Glazer of the Florida Housing Coalition said the emphasis on direct assistance would “appreciably reduce evictions.”

Gregory Brown of the National Apartment Association, which represents landlords, declined to comment, saying the group was still reviewing the Treasury Department guidance.

The new rules also make clear that residents of subsidized housing can receive the rental aid. They also now require programs to show they are reaching the most disadvantaged tenants.

Sue Berkowitz, director of the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center, praised the administration’s decision to include a $20 million program for expanded legal aid for tenants. An experimental program in Charleston found that providing lawyers raised the tenants’ success rate in court to 72 percent, compared to 4 percent among tenants without representation.

“Having more people to represent tenants makes a huge difference,” she said.

Still, she added, that is not the reason South Carolina has yet to spend the $272 million in federal aid allocated to the state under the legislation passed in December. “The main hold up,” she said, “was the Legislature — they didn’t get a program up and running until this week.”

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