More Than 420,000 Households Received Emergency Rental Assistance in August

By Mark Paulson, Anthony Venti Realtors, Inc.

Mark Paulson is a realtor in Alhambra specializing in the sale and leasing of commercial real estate. He has been a real estate professional since 1976. Contact him at Anthony Venti Realtors, Inc., 626-282-6121.

Since January, state and local governments have made over 1.4 million payments and distributed $7.7 billion.

State and local governments have continued to increase the number of households served by the emergency rental assistance program, according to the Treasury Department.

More than 420,000 households received assistance in August, up from 340,000 in July, and more than $2.3 billion was distributed last month, roughly three times the amount spent in May.

To encourage state and local governments to expedite this emergency rental assistance, Treasury announced seven additional policies at the end of August. These include measures and clarifications to reduce processing delays, including the ability to make bulk payments to larger landlords and utility companies more efficiently and allowing grantees to use self-attestation for documenting financial hardship, the risk of homelessness or housing instability, and income.

The Treasury Department cited the most recent Census Pulse survey, which suggests that approximately 3 million households have expressed concern about imminent eviction. Of these households, data indicates those with the lowest incomes are the most likely to be at risk. According to the survey, of the households reporting they are behind on rent, two-thirds earn less than $35,000. Prior Treasury data shows that the emergency rental assistance funds are reaching these households, with more than 60% of those served having extremely low incomes at or less than 30% of the area median income.

While there was little state and local infrastructure to deliver these funds when launched earlier this year, many programs have been successfully distributing the aid. According to Treasury, 119 state and local agencies have expended more than half of their first rental assistance funding allocations.

Los Angeles County has seen a large increase in the distribution of rental assistance.

The administration continues its efforts to reduce or avoid burdensome documentation requirements. Treasury is releasing new design tools to help grantees serve more eligible households. Partnering with the U.S. Digital Service, the new tools will incorporate some of the strong processes being used on the ground, feedback from applicants, as well as best practices regarding accessibility, usability, and consideration of community needs. For example, some changes will include using like language for the self-attestation of COVID-19, and incorporation of fact-based proxies for pre-eligibility checks.

With thousands of applications in the pipeline for funding, the administration also is calling on states and counties to put measures in place to ensure households are not evicted before they have the chance to apply for rental assistance and that an eviction doesn’t move forward until the application has been processed.


Rental assistancehouseholdsinfrastructure

Nov 2021


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