January Spending Data from Treasury Show Some State Grantees Have Exhausted their ERA1 Funds

The U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) has released Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) spending data through January 2022. An additional $1.9 billion of ERA funds were spent in January, down from $2.4 billion spent in December 2021 and $3 billion spent in November. Overall, $20.5 billion of ERA1 and ERA2 funds have been spent on assistance to households, and nearly 4.3 million payments have been made. Treasury data continue to show that funds are being spent unevenly across grantees, with a few state grantees having fully exhausted their ERA1 allocations and having already spent large portions of their ERA2 allocations.

Around $763 million in ERA1 funds were spent in January, down from $1.1 billion in December 2021 and $1.6 billion in November. January was the first month since May 2021 in which grantees spent less than $1 billion of ERA1 funds. This outcome is likely due to fast-spending grantees exhausting ERA1 funds and fully transitioning to ERA2 funds. States have spent $11.2 billion in ERA1 funds – or 61% of the $18.4 billion allocated to them – and localities have spent $4.4 billion, or 81% of the $5.4 billion allocated to them. In January, $1.2 billion of ERA2 funds were spent, a slight decrease from the $1.3 billion spent in December.

January spending data reveal continuing unevenness in spending performance. By the end of the month, 14 state grantees had expended over 75% of their ERA1 allocations on assistance to households. North Carolina, New Jersey, Virginia, and California spent more than 90%. Because grantees are allowed to spend 10% of their allocation on administrative expenses, it is likely that these grantees have exhausted their entire ERA1 allocation. In addition, two state grantees – New Jersey and North Carolina – have spent over 50% of their ERA2 allocation (82% and 58%, respectively).

Conversely, 15 state grantees expended less than 30% of their allocation by the end of January. Five of these state grantees – New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming – have spent a portion of their ERA2 funds, with New Hampshire spending a larger portion of its ERA2 allocation (36%) than its ERA1 allocation (28%). This result could be due to the increased flexibility granted by ERA2, which allows 18 months of assistance for households as opposed to the 15 months allowed under ERA1. Eighteen state grantees have yet to spend any of their ERA2 allocations.

On average, local grantees continue to spend at a faster rate than state grantees. Of the nearly 350 local grantees, over 215 reported spending more than 75% of their ERA1 funds, and approximately 140 local grantees spent 90% or more of their funds. Seventeen localities – including San Diego, Nashville, Fulton County, New Orleans, and Harris County – have also spent at least 85% of their ERA2 allocations.

Treasury is expected to base the third round of ERA1 reallocations on January spending data. This process will move funds from slower spending grantees to grantees that have spent their funds quickly and have remaining need. Treasury released data on the first round of reallocations in January and is expected to release data on the second round of reallocations in the coming weeks. 

NLIHC tracks ERA spending on the ERA Dashboard and Spending Tracker. Our tracking integrates Treasury data with real-time data from program dashboards and program administrators to provide a closer estimate of how much ERA funding has been obligated to date.