New grantee performance data for the month of June on the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program, released today by the Treasury Department, shows a significant increase in the number of households served and the amount of funds provided to households as state and local programs continued to ramp up their efforts. More than $1.5 billion in assistance was delivered to eligible households in the month of June, more than the assistance provided all three previous reporting periods combined. The number of households served in June grew by about 85% over the previous month and nearly tripled since April. In June, 290,000 households were served, up from 160,000 served in May and approximately 100,000 in April. This represents significant progress, but there is still much further work to go to ensure tenants and landlords take advantage of the historic funding available to help cover rent, utilities, and other housing costs and keep people in their homes.
This increase in program performance month-over-month throughout the second quarter reflects the efforts of many grantees during the first quarter to build their systems, staffing, and capacities to take on this major effort. ERA is helping develop a new national infrastructure for rental assistance and eviction prevention that did not previously exist, and as programs are created, they are able to scale quickly. This helps to explain how, for example, the State of Illinois went from reporting zero assistance deployed in May to being the second highest provider of rental assistance among all grantees in June. Across the country, programs are being established to distribute funds both in the short-term as the federal eviction moratorium expires at the end of July, and to support renters over the life of the programs, which – in the case of the ERA under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ERA2) – will continue until 2025.
On Friday, July 16, Deputy Treasury Secretary Adeyemo visited Houston and Harris County, where he highlighted one of the nation’s strongest local ERA programs. Houston and Harris County operate their ERA program in a regional partnership through two high-capacity, culturally competent non-profit agencies. Together, they have delivered more than $137 million in assistance to more than 36,000 eligible renters in the Houston metro area. During his visit, the Deputy Secretary learned how the program was working closely with strong, community-based nonprofit agencies that have the ability to provide culturally and linguistically relevant services, calling it “critical for achieving an equitable distribution of these emergency resources.” Administrators have seen success moving programs away from a “first come, first serve” strategy and instead using tactics like prioritizing households with a rental obligation below fair market rent as a proxy for vulnerability to housing insecurity and providing extra support to applicants with an active eviction case.
While more households are getting help, in many states and localities, funds are still not flowing fast enough to renters and landlords. Treasury is continuing an all-out effort, in coordination with the White House and interagency partners, to get the word out about the availability of rental assistance and to support grantees in ramping up their efforts.
Over the past few months, Treasury has worked with the White House and other agencies as part of a whole-of-government effort to get state and local grantees to speed up assistance by:
- Publishing guidance and FAQs encouraging direct assistance to tenants, streamlined documentation requirements, cultural competency in programs, and ensuring that funds can assist individuals experiencing homelessness.
- Highlighting successful grantee programs through roundtables and promising practices.
- Reaching out to state and local grantees that have yet to distribute rental assistance in their communities to offer additional support.
Treasury has also reiterated its grantees that it will use every tool available to get aid to struggling renters, including by using its statutory authority to reallocate funds that have not been obligated beginning in the fall.
Later today, Treasury will participate in the White House’s second virtual convening on eviction prevention – a follow up to last month’s Eviction Prevention Summit – where the Administration will continue to call for an all-hands-on-deck effort by state and local governments, courts, community organizations, and the legal community to prevent evictions, including moving more quickly to get emergency rental assistance to families in need.