New Treasury Data Indicate Nearly 4.6 Million Payments Made to Households Since January 2021

The U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) released on March 30 Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) spending data through February 2022. Overall, $22.5 billion of ERA1 and ERA2 funds have been provided to assist households. In February, $1.9 billion of ERA funds were spent, just short of the amount spent in January and less than the $2.4 billion spent in December 2021. February marks the third straight month in which ERA spending has declined. This decrease is likely due to many grantees exhausting their ERA1 funds and some grantees exhausting both their ERA1 and ERA2 funds. Nearly 4.6 million assistance payments have been made to households in need since January 2021. 

ERA1 spending has decreased each month since September 2021, likely due to an increasing number of grantees that have exhausted their ERA1 allocation. Over $676 million of ERA1 funds were spent in February, down from $779 million spent in January and $1.2 billion spent in December 2021. February is the second month since May 2021 that grantees spent less than $1 billion of ERA1. States have spent $11.7 billion in ERA1 funds, or 64% of the $18.4 billion allocated to them, and localities have spent $4.6 billion, or 85% of the $5.4 billion allocated to them. Nearly $1.3 billion in ERA2 funds were spent on assistance in February, up from spending levels in January ($1.2 billion) and roughly equivalent to spending levels in December ($1.3 billion).

By the end of February, 16 state grantees had expended over 75% of their initial ERA1 allocations on assistance to households. California, Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Virginia spent more than 90% of their allocations. Because grantees are allowed to spend 10% of their allocations on administrative expenses, it is likely that these grantees have exhausted their entire initial ERA1 allocations. On average, local grantees continue to spend ERA1 at a faster rate than state grantees. Of the nearly 350 local grantees, over two-thirds reported spending more than 75% of their ERA1 funds, and approximately four of every 10 local grantees spent 90% or more.

Conversely, nine state grantees expended less than 20% of their initial ERA1 allocations by the end of February 2022. Each of these grantees has reallocated a portion of its ERA1 funds either to other grantees within its state or to a general reallocation pool. Taking the amount reallocated into account, only two state grantees – Arizona and South Dakota – have spent less than 20% of their revised ERA1 allocations.

State grantees had spent $4.6 billion of ERA2 funds, or approximately 29% of the $15.9 billion allocated to states, by the end of February. Similarly, localities had spent approximately 28% of their allocations, or $1.7 billion of the $5.9 billion allocated to localities. Seven state grantees – California, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, and Texas – as well as the District of Columbia and 69 local grantees had spent over 50% of their ERA2 allocations by the end of February. Fifteen state grantees have yet to spend any of their ERA2 funds.

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.