In total, Treasury’s reallocation of over $3.5 billion in Emergency Rental Assistance funding has ensured rapid deployment of rental assistance to millions of families across the country
ERA programs have made over 8 million unique household payments to families at risk of eviction
WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that 89 state and local grantees have been awarded $690 million in reallocated funds under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA) to assist renters facing financial hardship. To date, Treasury has reallocated over $3.5 billion of funds that may have otherwise gone unused, deploying funds to areas with high demonstrated need and creating an incentive for communities to expeditiously connect households and families with this federal aid. Studies have also shown that the distribution of ERA funds has gone to low-income and/or traditionally underserved renters of color.
“The Emergency Rental Assistance Program, in combination with other Administration initiatives, has kept millions of families in their homes and averted what many predicted would be a wave of evictions during the pandemic,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Adewale Adeyemo. “Today’s announcement reflects a concerted effort to reallocate funds to programs that have demonstrated particular success in deploying rental assistance and will help put more funds into the hands of families facing urgent need.”
The successful deployment of ERA funds – with the vast majority of the over $46 billion available now deployed in communities across the country – is in part due to Treasury’s intentional approach to reallocate unused funds to areas of demonstrated need. Early on, Treasury recognized that some grantees were quickly exhausting available resources, others were working hard to increase spending, and some would not be able to fully deploy available funds during the program’s lifespan. Treasury’s goal has been to accelerate support and maximize available resources for renters. Consistent with that goal, Treasury established a series of benchmarks for spending ERA funds, reallocating unused funds to grantees with demonstrated need and program capacity. Treasury prioritized the reallocation of funds within each state to grantees with demonstrated need so that, where possible, the same pool of renters in need could benefit from funds even if a local or state program struggled administratively to implement the program rapidly.
Treasury also actively facilitated voluntary reallocations agreed upon by multiple jurisdictions within the same state. For example, if a state program was successful in quickly deploying funds to the residents of a specific municipality, that city could decide to work with Treasury to voluntarily send its funds to the state ERA program—or vice versa. Since the start of ERA, the majority of reallocated funds have been sent through this voluntary mechanism, established and facilitated by Treasury.
Grantees receiving reallocated funds announced today have demonstrated particular success in deploying resources and have demonstrated a clear need for additional funding. Grantees receiving funds include:
- Jefferson County, Alabama, which has established a strong eviction prevention and housing stability infrastructure. The county created a successful partnership with Jefferson County’s District Courts to support landlords and tenants with the help of local legal aid services, volunteer lawyers, landlord attorneys, and tenant advocates. The County has also established partnerships that support housing counseling and education services that are also offered through the community-based organization administering the ERA program.
- Hillsborough County, Florida, which developed a comprehensive outreach strategy to raise awareness about the available rental assistance. The outreach strategy included working with local elected officials, advertising in local news outlets, on social media, and at town hall meetings, and launching a local dollar store campaign in which ERA information was printed on the back of customer receipts. To help mitigate evictions, Hillsborough County partnered with nonprofits to go door-to-door in areas with high eviction rates and hold webinars for landlords about ERA.
- Franklin County, Ohio, which administered its ERA funds through two primary partner agencies with experience distributing rental assistance to those in need. These partnering agencies have successfully contracted with local servicers to provide additional wrap-around resources to renters at risk of eviction, including behavioral health treatment, workforce training, legal aid, and mediation. Additionally, the city of Columbus collaborated with the county on a housing stabilization taskforce to identify gaps and opportunities to better serve the community across various programs and funding streams, strengthening local community networks.
- Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, which has a coordinated housing crisis response system (“Your Way Home”) that is administering the ERA program. This means that tenants applying for ERA can also have access and referrals to a variety of other programs that can help prevent homelessness and maintain housing stability. Similar to nearby Philadelphia and Delaware County, this region has been highly successful in using ERA funds to build and strengthen infrastructure for eviction prevention programs that will likely continue long after ERA funding has been exhausted.
Reallocation is one of several initiatives that Treasury has undertaken to help funds quickly reach eligible renters in need. In addition to reallocation, Treasury has shared best practices with recipients across the country, worked with the White House to promote lasting eviction prevention initiatives using ERA funds, and eased burdensome documentation requirements to more easily reach eligible renters in need—among other initiatives to promote program success.
These efforts have helped to contribute to a program that has, along with other Administration initiatives, prevented millions of evictions since the beginning of the pandemic. The program has been praised by experts like Princeton University’s Eviction Lab founder Matthew Desmond, who said that ERA and the federal eviction moratorium represent “the deepest investment in low-income renters the federal government has made since the nation launched its public housing system” and “the most important eviction prevention policy in American history.” Researchers have also found that ERA beneficiaries have not only received financial benefits from the program, but have also seen other positive effects on their well-being, such as improved mental health outcomes.
Official news published at https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1213