More than 521,000 renters and landlords received emergency rental assistance totaling more than $2.8 billion in October, according to the Department of Treasury. This brings the total number of payments for the emergency rental assistance (ERA) programs to more than 2.5 million.
Treasury projects that approximately $25 billion to $30 billion of the combined funds of the first and second tranches of emergency rental assistance will be spent or obligated by the end of the year. For ERA 1, it is estimated that at least 80% of the program’s funding will be spent or obligated by the end of 2021, which is nine months before the deadline for grantees to spend their initial allocations.
According to Treasury, as of the end of October, more than 100 state and local grantees of ERA 1 had expenditure ratios of 95% or more, which means they effectively completed spending of those funds.
In addition, nearly 130 grantees had started to spend their funds from ERA 2 as of the end of October. Several grantees have announced that they have obligated the vast majority of those funds. For instance, New York reported that it has paid or obligated $2 billion of its $2.4 billion in total ERA funding, including over 81,000 payments to support households. Texas announced that the total applications in its system, including $1.2 billion that has already been disbursed, exceed its combined ERA 1 and ERA 2 allocations. Oregon also reported that all of its ERA funds have been disbursed or are spoken for in applications that are in process.
Treasury has started a process to reallocate grantees’ unused ERA 1 funds, consistent with the American Rescue Plan. It anticipates that a large portion of the first-round reallocation will happen voluntarily, but it only expects a limited amount for reallocation with the recent rapid improvement in disbursement and obligated funds.
States and localities have been urged to use other sources of funds, including the $350 billion in Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, to provide additional renter support.