Treasury: Lowest-Income Renters Received 80% of the ERA That’s Been Delivered
This post has been updated to clarify that more than 80% of the ERA that has been delivered went to the lowest-income households. Overall, less than 80% of ERA has been delivered to all eligible households.
The Treasury Department announced that more than 80% of the emergency rental assistance (ERA) that has been delivered went to extremely low-income households at risk of eviction in 2021. It also released demographic data that shows how the funds were delivered to underserved and vulnerable communities.
To promote speedy and equitable distribution of ERA over the last year, the Treasury Department encouraged state and local ERA programs to:
- Reduce burdensome documentation requirements;
- Deliver assistance directly to renters in cases where landlords would not cooperate;
- Invest in culturally and linguistically relevant housing stability services; and
- Adopt promising practices like multi-lingual and mobile-friendly applications.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, more than 40% of all primary applicants were Black, more than 20% were Latino, and close to two thirds were female-headed households. These rates are in line with the rates at which Black, Latino, and female-headed households had faced eviction earlier in the pandemic, according to research by the Eviction Lab. The data also shows that Treasury's reallocated funding went to grantees serving more diverse and more low-income households than average.
“Although the data suggests equity-focused efforts made by Treasury and ERA grantees are having a meaningful impact in ensuring ERA funds reach the lowest-income renters – including in communities of color – this work is far from done,” the department stated. “Treasury encourages programs to continue to identify partners within their communities that can continue to build lasting infrastructure to support high-need renters’ access to ERA funds, build out housing stability and eviction diversion programs, and ensure program accessibility through actions like improving application design for those with limited English proficiency.”
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