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NLIHC Analysis: Latest Emergency Rental Assistance Spending Data Shows Progress; More Must be Done to Reach Renters in Need

WASHINGTON, DC– The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) is tracking and analyzing all emergency rental assistance (ERA) programs in the U.S. Today, the Department of Treasury (Treasury) released ERA spending numbers through the end of October. Overall, $13.1 billion from ERA1 and ERA2 has been disbursed to households, reaching more than 2.5 million renter households.

NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel, said this about the data:

“Over 2.5 million households have been helped by emergency rental assistance – with back rent paid, these families have a clean slate and some housing stability to help get through the next wave of the pandemic. But many struggling renters have yet to receive assistance, through no fault of their own, and remain at risk of losing their home this winter.

Some communities are distributing ERA quickly and well – proving that it’s possible, and making those that aren’t all the more glaring and unacceptable. 

While the overall rate of spending emergency rental assistance has improved, many programs are still too slow in getting assistance to tenants in need. Most slow spenders and poor performers are needlessly delayed by their refusal to use flexibilities and best practices to expedite assistance. Program administrators on the wrong track need to course correct and implement proven best practices for successful programs, as many have done in recent months. Those program administrators that can’t or won’t follow clear White House and Treasury directives will have funding swept and reallocated to those that will.”

Overview of Treasury Data


  • Total Spending through October:
    • $12.1B has been paid to households (48% of $25B)
    • $12.5B has been expended through assistance to households, admin costs, and housing stability services (50% of $25B), though the amount expended for admin costs and housing stability services is only current through the end of June.
  • Households Served through October:
    • 2.3M households received ERA1 funding through October
    • 412,000 households were served in October alone, a decrease from 480,000 households served in September. 
  • Change over time:
    • $2.2B was spent in October, down from $2.6B spent in September and $2.5B spent in August. This could be due in part to a lower percent of grantees reporting their October data (92% in October vs. 99% in September). This could also be due to the fact that some of the fast-spending grantees have run out of ERA1 and transitioned to ERA2
  • Percent of $25B spent by reporting period is as follows:
    • Jan – Mar            1.1%
    • April                     1.9%
    • May                      3.1%
    • June                     6.2%
    • July                      6.9%
    • August                 9.9%
    • September          10.5%
    • October               8.8%
  • Breakdown by Geography:
    • States have spent $8.4B, approximately 48% of the amount allocated to states
      • This is up from 38% at the end of September.
    • Localities have spent $3.6B, approximately 59% of the amount allocated to localities.
      • This is up from 54% at the end of September.
    • Territories have spent $41.1M, approximately 10% of the amount allocated to territories.
  • Grantees at Risk of Recapture/Reallocation: The expenditure ratio benchmark set by Treasury increases 5% every month, for an October benchmark of 35%. Twenty-six states fell below this benchmark as of October 31st. States with expenditure ratios well below the 35% benchmark are listed below. The reported percentages are slightly higher than the raw percent of funding disbursed because the expenditure ratio discounts 10% of administrative costs in the calculation:
  •   South Dakota                  4%
  •   Arizona                            5%
  •  Wyoming                          5%
  •  North Dakota                    6%
  •  Nebraska                          7%
  •  Delaware                        10%
  •  South Carolina               10%
  •  Tennessee                      11%
  •  Idaho                              11%
  • Montana                          11%
  • Iowa                                13%
  • Georgia                           14%
  • Ohio                                14%
  • West Virginia                   16%
  • Alabama                          17%
  • Vermont                           19%
  • As of the end of October, the state leaders remained relatively similar to previous months, with Minnesota increasing its spending drastically. Thirteen states have spent more than 50% of their allocation:
  • New York                                        100%+
  • California                                          91%
  • New Jersey                                      90%
  • District of Columbia                          89%
  • Illinois                                               82%
  • Virginia                                             82%
  • North Carolina                                  81%
  • Texas                                                79%
  • Minnesota                                         66%
  • Alaska                                              62%
  • Massachusetts                                 57%
  • Oregon                                             56%
  • Connecticut                                      52% 
  • Local Spending Takeaways:         
    • 140 localities have spent more than 75% of their funding and approximately 80 have spent 90% or more.
    • 63 local grantees have an expenditure ratio less than 35%, putting them at continued risk of recapture and reallocation
    • Several localities report spending significantly more than 100% of their funds. This could be due to ERA2 spending they are grouping in, spending from state money they received, or data errors.



  • Total Spending through October:
    • $1.0B has been paid to households (5% of $21.6B)
  • Households Served through October:
    • Over 195,000 households received ERA1 funding through October
    • 109,000 households were served in October alone with ERA2 funding, nearly triple the number of households served in September with ERA2 funding. 
  • Change over time:
    • $666M was spent in October, up from $187M in September. This significant increase may signal that more grantees are tapping into their ERA2 funds as they near the end of their ERA1 allocation.
    • Percent of $21.6B spent by reporting period is as follows:
      • Apr – Jun                     .2%
      • July                              .1%
      • August                         .4%
      • September                  .9%
      • October                      3.1%

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