In total, the Department’s reallocation of over $4.8 billion in Emergency Rental Assistance funding has ensured rapid deployment of resources to millions of families across the country
ERA programs have made nearly 10.8 million household payments to families at risk of eviction
WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that 82 state and local grantees have been awarded $521.1 million in reallocated funds under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA) to assist renters facing financial hardship. Including the funds announced today, the Treasury Department will have reallocated over $4.8 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. ERA programs have made nearly 10.8 million household payments to families at risk of eviction.
“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 Wally 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 the Treasury Department’s intentional approach to reallocate unused funds to areas of demonstrated need. Early on, the Treasury Department 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. The Department’s goal has been to accelerate support and maximize available resources for renters. Consistent with that goal, the Treasury Department established a series of benchmarks for spending ERA funds, reallocating unused funds to grantees with demonstrated need and program capacity. The Department prioritized the reallocation of funds within a given 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.
The Treasury Department 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 the Treasury Department to voluntarily send its funds to the state ERA program—or vice versa. Since the start of ERA, the majority of reallocated funds has been sent through this voluntary mechanism, established and facilitated by the Treasury Department.
Grantees receiving reallocated funds announced today have demonstrated particular success in deploying resources and have demonstrated a clear need for additional funding. For example:
- The City of Oakland, CA has partnered with nine community-based organizations to conduct outreach to renters and provide tenant protection and other wraparound services, such as financial counseling and landlord-tenant mediation. The city has also developed a productive relationship with Stanford University to identify and develop long-term solutions for serving vulnerable households and keeping more Oakland families in their homes. Additionally, Oakland has leveraged its experience with ERA to pilot a homelessness prevention program that complements its eviction prevention efforts.
- Gwinnett County, GA operates an ERA program known as RESET 2.0, which has seen success processing over $86.5 million in financial assistance to date, according to county data. It has made a commitment to reducing barriers for applying and receiving ERA assistance, quickly processing applications, and partnering with key stakeholders, such as the local courthouse. As just one example, RESET 2.0 embedded a court liaison for the ERA program among court staff to ensure courtrooms have a direct line to rental assistance information to help ensure that eligible renters could receive assistance. As a result of these and other efforts, the program has served over 7,300 Georgia households.
- Polk County, IA contracted with its local community action agency to process applications and leverage existing resources to provide wraparound services, such as housing stability case management and direct connection to rental housing specialists. The county has also worked closely with the local judicial system to provide real-time data to judges about ERA application status, which then prompts tenant/landlord mediation services with the goal of preventing court-ruled evictions.
Reallocation is one of several initiatives the Treasury Department has undertaken to help funds quickly reach eligible renters in need. In addition to reallocation, the Department has elevated promising practices developed by innovative 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, helped prevent millions of evictions since the beginning of the pandemic. Last month, the Treasury Department released a new blog detailing how ERA had expanded reach to tenants in need while building long-term eviction prevention infrastructure. Studies have also shown that ERA funds have been particularly effective at reaching low-income and/or traditionally underserved renters of color. Further, researchers have 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. In addition, a recent Treasury Department report found that state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments have also used $15.9 billion in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) for more than 2,100 projects to meet housing needs, including over $5.4 billion committed to affordable housing development and preservation.
The Treasury Department encourages localities to continue to build off of the infrastructure created by ERA and continue to invest in programs to support renters.