To assist renters facing financial hardships, the Department of the Treasury has awarded $521.1 million in reallocated funds under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA) to 82 state and local grantees.
With these awards, over $4.8 billion of funds that may have gone unused will have been reallocated. According to the Treasury, ERA programs have made nearly 10.8 million household payments for families at risk of eviction.
“The ERA Program, in combination with other administration initiatives, has kept millions of families in their homes and averted what many predicted would be a wave of evictions during the pandemic,” said Treasury deputy secretary Wally Adeyemo. “Today’s announcement reflects a concerted effort to reallocate funds to programs that have demonstrated particular success in deploying rental assistance and will put more funds into the hands of families facing urgent need.”
Treasury has deployed the vast majority of the over $46 billion available in ERA funds across the nation. According to the department, its goal has been to accelerate support and maximize available resources for renters, establishing a series of benchmarks for spending funds and reallocating unused funds to grantees with need and program capacity.
The grantees who received the $521.1 million in reallocated funds are ones that have shown particular success in deploying resources and demonstrated a clear need for the additional funding.
Three examples were cited:
- The city of Oakland, California, has partnered with nine community-based organization to conduct renter outreach as well as provide tenant protection and other wraparound services. In addition, it has developed a relationship with Stanford University to identify and develop long-term solutions for serving vulnerable households and has leveraged its experience with ERA to pilot a homelessness prevention program to complement its eviction prevention efforts;
- Gwinnett County, Georgia’s ERA program, RESET 2.0, has processed over $86.5 million in financial assistance to date. It has made a commitment to reduce barriers for those applying and receiving ERA assistance, quickly process applications, and partner with key stakeholders. RESET 2.0 has embedded a court liaison for the ERA program to ensure courtrooms have a direct line to rental assistance information to aid eligible households; and
- Polk County, Iowa, has contracted with its community action agency to process applications and leverage existing resources to provide wraparound services. It also is working with the judicial system to provide real-time data on ERA application status with the goal of preventing court-ruled evictions.