State and local officials disbursed less than 17% of the funds allocated for pandemic rent assistance by the end of August, the Treasury Department announced Friday.
Officials have disbursed $7.7 billion of the $46.5 billion in funds allocated to the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program meant to aid those at risk of eviction, the Treasury Department said in a statement.
The program was created eight months ago and has struggled to distribute its funds to tenants. A number of state officials have said the delays can be attributed to a lack of preparedness to facilitate the distribution of such large sums of money.
Low-income tenants across the country are behind on rent payments because of the pandemic, even as billions of dollars appropriated by Congress to assist renters remain untouched.
About $5.2 billion of the $46.6 billion — roughly 11% — set aside for the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program has been distributed to low-income tenants, according to the most recent data released by the Department of the Treasury on Wednesday. House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Patrick McHenry characterized the Biden administration’s handling of the ERA program as “gross mismanagement.”
The Department of the Treasury has awarded a small fraction of the tens of billions of dollars Congress appropriated for pandemic rental assistance since January.
The federal government has expended less than $3 billion of the $46.6 billion in funds given to the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program, the Treasury Department announced on Wednesday. The U.S. doled out $1.49 billion from January through May and $1.5 billion in June to low-income renters nationwide, according to a spreadsheet published by the Treasury.
More than $800 million in federal funds have been accepted by the Florida Legislature to provide Floridians rental assistance through the website, OURFlorida.com. The site began accepting applications last week.
The ‘OUR,’ standing for Opportunities for Utilities and Rental Assistance, is available to all Floridians. Both tenants and landlords may apply for the federal assistance to cover losses taken in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With federal funding available statewide, Floridians in counties with populations under 200,000 people, who were unable to receive previous rental assistance provided by the federal government, will now be eligible to apply for and receive assistance.