New data shows communities have dedicated nearly $63 billion of program funds on housing projects across three American Rescue Plan programs; the largest State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund recipients have budgeted 85% of total resources, and total projects are up 18% over first quarter of 2023
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released a fact sheet detailing how state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments are leveraging their awards from three American Rescue Plan programs – the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF), the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF), and the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA)1 Program – to expand access to affordable housing and significantly improve housing stability across the country. As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, this fact sheet includes new data on how these programs have helped keep more families in their homes through effective eviction and foreclosure prevention efforts, while also expanding our supply of affordable housing. New data released today shows that, through Q2 2023, nearly $63 billion of funds across SLFRF, HAF, and ERA programs have been dedicated to housing projects, demonstrating how President Biden’s Investing in America agenda has made significant investments in supporting existing homeowners and renters, as well as helping more Americans maintain housing stability.
Alongside today’s new data, the Treasury Department is releasing a new playbook illustrating how states and localities can use remaining resources across these programs to augment efforts and support affordable housing broadly.
Today’s announcements highlight how the Treasury Department has encouraged communities to address housing needs by making innovative use of American Rescue Plan funds. These Treasury Department-led programs have complemented Administration-wide efforts to help families across the country remain in their homes, including increased options for mortgage payment forbearance, enhanced loan modifications to resolve delinquencies, and a foreclosure moratorium. The combination of these Administration programs has resulted in historically low foreclosure and eviction rates. According to Black Knight data, August 2023 foreclosure starts were still 13% below pre-pandemic levels. And according to the Eviction Lab, COVID-era policies cut eviction filings by more than half. A new White House fact sheet detailing the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic investments in affordable housing and homeownership is available here.
New data shows communities are leveraging American Rescue Plan resources to improve housing security
New data through Q2 2023 shows that state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments have effectively leveraged American Rescue Plan resources to help more households stay in their homes now and in the future.
- Through June 30, 2023, states, territories, and the largest cities and counties that received the American Rescue Plan’s State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds awards have budgeted 85% of their total SLFRF resources, and in Q2, the number of projects grew 18% among quarterly reporters. Of the total budgeted, 925 state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments are budgeting $17.7 billion for 2,766 projects that address housing including emergency aid, affordable housing, and services to address homelessness. As part of this amount, governments have dedicated more than $6.6 billion, an approximately 10% increase in funds allocated in this area since Q1 2023, towards long-term affordable housing, including both rental and owned homes; and this funding is supporting more than 17,000 units of affordable housing.
- The Homeowner Assistance Fund has assisted nearly 400,000 homeowners at risk of foreclosure. Through Q2 2023, the state, territorial, and Tribal recipients of HAF awards have expended over $5.5 billion to assist homeowners, a 28% increase from Q1 2023. In total, more than half of all funds available through the HAF recipients’ programs have now been spent. The data also shows HAF recipients continue to reach a higher proportion of economically vulnerable and traditionally underserved homeowners than previous federal mortgage assistance efforts. As of Q2, 50% of HAF assistance was delivered to very low-income homeowners. 35% of homeowners assisted self-identified as Black, 18% self-identified as Latino, and 59% self-identified as female.
- The Emergency Rental Assistance program has made more than 12.3 million household payments to assist renting families in need through Q2 2023, and communities have expended nearly 85% of their total ERA award funding. Based on reported data, more than 60% of these funds have gone to communities of color, and more than 66% have gone to female-headed households. Research has found that nearly one-third of ERA rental assistance funds went to Hispanic households.
More communities are using American Rescue Plan funds to expand access to affordable housing
Providing more Americans with access to affordable housing is a key goal for both the Treasury Department and across the Biden-Harris Administration. The State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program is driving investments at every level of government to create new and improve existing affordable housing stock. The Treasury Department has made an intentional effort to encourage jurisdictions to consider using their SLFRF funds to support housing stability and the construction and preservation of new affordable housing. In the summer of 2022, the Department expanded the flexibility for recipients to use their SLFRF funds to invest in long-term affordable housing projects. Just over a year later, governments have dedicated more than $6.6 billion in SLFRF award funds towards long-term affordable housing, including both rental and owned homes, through June 30, 2023. This $6.6 billion, an approximately 10% increase in funds allocated in this area since Q1 2023, is supporting more than 17,000 units of affordable housing.
Many governments are using SLFRF award funds to supplement other American Rescue Plan programs aiding renters and homeowners, including the Homeowners Assistance Fund and Emergency Rental Assistance program. In fact, some communities are using their remaining ERA funds on projects which aim to expand access to affordable housing. Through Q2 2023, ERA recipients have begun at least 26 affordable rental housing projects across the country have begun at least 26 affordable rental housing projects across the country.
Examples of recipients leveraging American Rescue Plan funds to expand access to affordable housing:
- Cobb County, Georgia is budgeting $4 million in SLFRF funds to support the development of 14 single-family, scattered site homes to bolster the county’s supply of affordable for-sale single-family homes.
- The City of Lynn, Massachusetts is utilizing $1 million in SLFRF funds to create 43 units of mixed-income veteran’s housing. The project will consist of 32 one-bedroom units, 10 two-bedroom units, and one studio.
- The State of Missouri is budgeting $3 million in SLFRF funds for the construction of 34 affordable housing units. The project includes ten 1-bedroom units, eight 2-bedroom units, six 3-bedroom units, ten 4-bedroom units, and a 4,000 square foot community facility for supportive services and onsite staffing.
- Cuyahoga County, Ohio will invest $6.5 million in ERA funds for the construction, preservation, and rehabilitation of affordable housing units spanning eight projects. The projects are located primarily in the city of Cleveland and will serve a variety of households, including transition aged youth aging out of foster care.
- Spokane County, Washington will invest ERA funds for the preservation of 50 units at Pine Villa Apartments, including the construction of 4 additional units. The funds will be used to replace building exteriors, unit interiors, and accessibility, providing safe and affordable housing for families with children.
American Rescue Plan funds are keeping families in their homes
The pandemic resulted in families across the country struggling to pay their housing expenses. Many fell behind on their rent or mortgage. At the end of 2020, nearly a fifth of renting households reported being behind on rent. And many analysts feared foreclosure rates would skyrocket, as they did following the Great Recession.
The more than $46 billion in Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) funding created the first nationwide infrastructure for eviction prevention, delivering federal relief to millions of households and enabling communities to set up eviction diversion programs – many for the first time.
Communities are also helping keep families in their homes by aiding the high costs associated with homeownership. As of Q2 2023, HAF recipients have spent $5.5 billion to assist homeowners with past due mortgage balances, utilities, and other qualified expenses related to mortgages and housing. Moreover, HAF funds have been expended on costs such as home repair, lien extinguishments, and mortgage payment assistance. By reducing homeowners’ monthly payments, preserving the habitability of existing homes, and making housing more affordable for the beneficiaries of this assistance, the Treasury Department’s HAF program has ensured that many homeowners can remain in an affordable home. As recipients make budgeting plans for remaining funding, many HAF recipients are exploring additional ways to help more homeowners avoid displacement.
Across the country, state and local governments are using resources from these two programs – along with SLFRF resources – in innovative and complimentary ways to meet the diverse housing needs of their communities. Examples of recipients leveraging American Rescue Plan funds to keep families in their homes:
- The State of Indiana’s Housing and Community Development Authority realized that income verification created a bottleneck for processing applications for HAF assistance. By collaborating with Indiana’s ERA program – another Treasury Department-led program – the state’s HAF program learned about the benefits of using an applicant’s proof of receiving federal benefits as a proxy to verify the applicant’s income. This helped streamline the applicant eligibility screening process for staff and reduce the documentation burden for applicants.
- The State of New Jersey has spent over $800 million in ERA funds, and has committed an additional $790 million through its SLFRF award, to bring rental and utility assistance to eligible renters. The State is also using its SLFRF resources to fund an Office of Eviction Prevention to provide services supporting housing stability and helping households avoid eviction. Over 24,000 households across the state are being assisted.
- The State of Oregon has supplemented its ERA funding with $100 million of its SLFRF funding, as well as state funds, to operate the Eviction Prevention Rapid Response Program, which provides rapid financial assistance to prevent eviction and homelessness.
- The State of West Virginia’s HAF Program is improving accessibility for its aging population, helping seniors stay in their homes while avoiding unsafe living conditions. When a large number of applicants for HAF assistance indicated that a critical home repair was necessary to stay in the home, the state added home repairs as an optional use of funds. This has an intergenerational affect as West Virginia has a notably high rate of grandparents raising their grandchildren.
1. Treasury administers two separate ERA programs, ERA1 and ERA2: the ERA1 program is authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and provided $25 billion for assistance to eligible households. The ERA1 program ended in late 2022. The ERA2 program is authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and provides $21.55 billion for assistance to eligible households. The ERA2 program remains ongoing. ERA1 and ERA2 funds were provided directly to states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, certain local governments, and, in the case of ERA1 only, Indian Tribes or their Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHEs), and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL). The total amounts of ERA funds referenced may reflect ERA1 award funds in effort to showcase how these entities continued their ERA programs by using their ERA2 awards authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act to maximize the assistance for eligible households.