The U.S. Department of the Treasury released updated Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) spending data through August 31, revealing that an additional $2.28 billion in ERA1 and $207 million in ERA2 funding was spent in August, bringing the total ERA spent through August to $7.72 billion. After only a slight increase in spending between June and July, August saw a substantial increase in the rate of spending. Grantees spent $550 million more in August than in July. By comparison, programs spent $196 million more in July than they did in June. The updated data reflect significant progress in ERA spending for programs, though many programs have yet to incorporate essential flexibilities to accelerate funding.
State allocations account for approximately $18 billion of the $25 billion in ERA1 funding. By August 31, states had spent 26% of their funding, varying widely in their success distributing funds. New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Texas are leading fund distribution, having spent 78%, 70%, 63%, and 56% of their allocations, respectively. Other states, including South Carolina, New York, and Florida, saw significant increases in their fund distribution from July to August. Many states continue to fall behind, however, with 18 states having spent less than 10% of their allocations by the end of August.
Per-household spending varies widely across states, but states average approximately $5,000 per household. Initial numbers from New York show that it has the highest average spending per household at $12,974, followed by New Jersey ($9,096) and California ($8,288). Arizona has the lowest spending, averaging $738 per household, followed by North Dakota ($1,525) and Vermont ($1,710). States with low household payouts and low spending rates should consider applying the allowable three months of future rent payments to all eligible households to ensure housing stability and increase fund distribution.
Localities continue to spend ERA1 funding more quickly than states, with local spending increasing from 31% to 42% of the total ERA1 allocation between July and August. Over 100 localities have spent more than 50% of their funding and approximately 25 have spent 90% or more. Twenty-six localities have not begun distributing ERA1 funds. Territories are still struggling to expend their ERA1 allocation; only 1% has been spent, and Puerto Rico with the largest allocation among territories had not distributed any funds.
By the end of August, $207 million in ERA2 funding (approximately 1% of the ERA2 allocation) had been paid to households. Of 400 grantees, 65, including six states, have started spending their ERA2 funding. However, not all these grantees have spent down their entire ERA1 funding, indicating that some programs may be switching to ERA2 because of the additional flexibilities allowed.
NLIHC tracks ERA spending in real time on our ERA Dashboard and Spending Tracker. This tracking also includes real-time data from program dashboards and program administrators to provide a closer estimate of how much ERA funding has been obligated to date.
Access August data at: https://bit.ly/2XUl9na