The Department of Treasury on July 22 released updated emergency rental assistance spending data, revealing an uptick in spending in June. By the end of June, grantees had paid out a total of $3 billion of the $25 billion allocation appropriated by the December 2020 “Consolidated Appropriations Act” (ERA1), almost doubling the amount paid out by the end of May. Despite the increased pace of distribution, only 12% of the allocation had been paid out as of June 30, just a month before the CDC eviction moratorium is set to expire. Further, while several states and localities are ramping up their fund distribution, many more remain stagnant. Only five states distributed more than 20% of their funds, and only 10% of localities distributed more than 50%.
The amount of ERA funding paid out to households has doubled during each reporting period, increasing from $256 million in the first quarter (January to March) to $1.5 billion in June. The number of households served has also been steadily increasing, with 84,676 households served in Q1 and 290,519 households served in June. Since the program began, 633,453 households have been served.
States increased spending from 4% to 10% between May 31 and June 30. State allocations represent approximately $18 billion of the total $25 billion in funding. Localities increased spending from 13% to 20% over the same period. Despite these increases, many states and localities have spent little to none of their allocations. Of particular concern are large states with high numbers of low-income households. The state of Florida, for example, served only 237 households and paid out .2% of its allocation by the end of June. The state of New York has served no households and expended none of its funding.
Though the Treasury data is critical to assess ERA spending holistically, program-specific data dashboards provide real-time updates of how some programs are doing. The State of Texas, for example, distributed 34% of its funds by the end of June, but distributed nearly 50% of their funds as of mid-July according to the state dashboard. On the other hand, the state of Wyoming, has only spent .9% of its funds according to the state dashboard, only marginally higher than the .5% reported in the Treasury data.
The publicly available data are essential to enhance transparency and accountability of state and local ERA1 programs. The data illustrate how critical it is that low-spending grantees adopt best practices quickly before the CDC eviction moratorium ends, as detailed in NLIHC’s research and case studies and outlined by the Department of Treasury.
Access ERA1 data at: https://bit.ly/3zr76mo