Roughly $10 billion of a $46 billion pool of federal rental aid has made it to renters, landlords and utility companies after another $2.8 billion was disbursed by state and local governments in September, the Treasury Department announced Monday.
Treasury said that funds from the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program reached more than 510,000 households last month and more than 2 million since the initiative began this year.
The department had distributed the entirety of the $46 billion to eligible state and local entities in May to help struggling renters avoid eviction upon the expiration of federal and state moratoria.
The urgency to expedite the rental aid distribution process ramped up in August when the Supreme Court struck down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) eviction moratorium, which was imposed in September 2020.
But despite months of pressure from Treasury and attempts to loosen red tape, nearly 75 percent of the rental assistance funds have yet to reach the intended recipients.
Even so, the mass wave of evictions that many policymakers feared has not materialized thanks in part to state and local eviction bans, court backlogs and eviction diversion strategies, according to data from Princeton University's Eviction Lab.
“That said, every unnecessary eviction is one too many, which is why Treasury continues to do everything it can to make sure assistance is reaching people who need it most – including by working to ensure that those facing eviction have an opportunity to apply and are protected during the application process,” the department said Monday.