IN FEBRUARY, the US Treasury Department reported around $30 billion in Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) payments. The majority of the remaining money will be distributed by the middle of the year.
The FDA announced Wednesday that state and local ERA grantees had provided more than 4.7 million payments to families as part of the program, which began two years ago with the outbreak of COVID-19.
The Treasury Department will disclose its ERA2 reallocation process with state and local grantees once the “vast majority” of remaining cash is deployed by mid-2022. ERA2 is the American Rescue Plan’s extension of the program.
The agency stated that its strategy for reallocating ERA2 monies is “intended to guarantee that as many low-income tenants as possible get support during the epidemic.”
As previously reported by GOBankingRates, Congress included more than $45 billion in rental assistance funding in its December 2020 and March 2021 stimulus packages, making it the largest program ever targeted exclusively at households facing eviction.
Following a delayed start in which several governments were late distributing cash, payments have been made significantly quicker in 2022, depleting coffers in certain states.
Treasury officials are urging state and municipal governments to expand existing programs to assist struggling renters.
“Within a year, the Emergency Rental Assistance program established a never-before-seen national infrastructure for eviction avoidance, assisting in keeping eviction rates considerably below historical averages throughout the pandemic,” Deputy Secretary Adewale Adeyemo stated in a news release.
“As these emergency monies deplete, now is the moment for state and local governments to utilize this infrastructure to create services like right-to-counsel and housing counselors that will assist families in avoiding economic damage long after COVID-19 has passed.”
According to recent research released by Princeton University’s Eviction Lab, millions of tenants will escape eviction in 2021 due to government rental support programs.
Additionally, the data discovered that low-income and majority-Black communities, which normally see a disproportionate percentage of eviction proceedings, had the greatest decrease in filings.
The Treasury Department highlighted major components of its reallocation strategy for state and local grantees as part of Wednesday’s presentation.
Given the limited amount of remaining ERA1 funds available for reallocation, the agency stated that it “anticipates only one additional round of ERA1 reallocation from the state, local, and territorial grantees’ initial allocations later this spring, which will be based on spending and responsibility data and via March 31, 2022.”
Additionally, the agency expects to “recover a portion of unobligated money from grantees, leaving grantees with the amount of ERA1 monies spent in their best quarter to date.”
This reallocation guarantees ERA1 monies are used by the statutory deadline of September 2022 while continuing to send excess money to grantees in greatest need.”