Treasury announces roughly 4.3 million Emergency Assistance payments made to households through January 2022
WASHINGTON — Today, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to highlight how American Rescue Plan funds have been used to keep Americans in their homes during the pandemic. The Deputy Secretary’s trip, which comes a year after the American Rescue Plan Act was signed by President Biden, included discussions with the City of Memphis and Shelby County Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program about the impact these resources have had on thousands of Tennessee residents.
“Memphis and Shelby County’s program is a story about a community working to use its rental assistance dollars as effectively as possible to achieve real results for families,” said Deputy Secretary Adeyemo. “The way the program has integrated with the local courts system to divert unnecessary evictions by giving those facing an eviction the opportunity access ERA and providing free legal services is a model for the rest of the country.”
“Our goal in the City of Memphis is to help as many people as we can, as quickly as we can, with as few barriers as possible,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. “I’m grateful for the actions taken by city employees and our federal and county partners to bring rent and utility assistance to those struggling the most through this pandemic.”
The Memphis and Shelby County ERA program has worked with the local court system to create one of the strongest eviction diversion programs in the country. Through January 2022, it has made more than 16,000 payments to households totaling $43.1 million. Their success is especially impressive given that the courts lifted the federal eviction moratorium in Memphis and its surrounding counties several months before it ended nationally.
Through January 2022, state and local ERA grantees made approximately 4.3 million payments to households and spent or obligated well over $25 billion of ERA assistance. Treasury expects the vast majority of the remaining $21 billion to be deployed to households or paid to grantees by the middle of 2022. Due to the Administration’s efforts to prevent evictions, including the implementation of ERA programs, eviction filings have remained at roughly 60 percent of pre-pandemic averages in the five full months since the eviction moratorium ended according to data from Princeton’s Eviction Lab.
In his remarks, the Deputy Secretary emphasized that Treasury continues to urge states and localities to dedicate a portion of their money from the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds—a $350 billion program under the American Rescue Plan—to continue to fund rental assistance, other eviction prevention programs, and expand the availability of affordable housing. Congress and Treasury gave states and localities significant flexibility over the use of these funds so they can prioritize the areas of greatest need in their communities, and Treasury has already seen many use these funds for housing programs and projects nationwide.