The federal government recently reallocated Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) funds, redirecting some resources to Frederick and Prince George’s Counties.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that 89 state and local grantees have been awarded $690 million in reallocated funds under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA) to assist renters facing financial hardship. To date, Treasury has reallocated over $3.5 billion of funds that may have otherwise gone unused, deploying funds to areas with high demonstrated need and creating an incentive for communities to expeditiously connect households and families with this federal aid. Studies have also shown that the distribution of ERA funds has gone to low-income and/or traditionally underserved renters of color.
The successful deployment of ERA funds – with the vast majority of the over $46 billion available now deployed in communities across the country – is in part due to Treasury’s intentional approach to reallocate unused funds to areas of demonstrated need. Early on, Treasury recognized that some grantees were quickly exhausting available resources, others were working hard to increase spending, and some would not be able to fully deploy available funds during the program’s lifespan. Treasury’s goal has been to accelerate support and maximize available resources for renters. Consistent with that goal, Treasury established a series of benchmarks for spending ERA funds, reallocating unused funds to grantees with demonstrated need and program capacity. Treasury prioritized the reallocation of funds within each state to grantees with demonstrated need so that, where possible, the same pool of renters in need could benefit from funds even if a local or state program struggled administratively to implement the program rapidly.
Treasury also actively facilitated voluntary reallocations agreed upon by multiple jurisdictions within the same state. For example, if a state program was successful in quickly deploying funds to the residents of a specific municipality, that city could decide to work with Treasury to voluntarily send its funds to the state ERA program—or vice versa. Since the start of ERA, the majority of reallocated funds have been sent through this voluntary mechanism, established and facilitated by Treasury.
Grantees receiving reallocated funds announced today have demonstrated particular success in deploying resources and have demonstrated a clear need for additional funding. Grantees receiving funds include:
- Frederick County, Maryland, will receive an additional $91,999.46.
- Prince George’s County, Maryland, will receive an additional $1,013,507.52.
Reallocation is one of several initiatives that Treasury has undertaken to help funds quickly reach eligible renters in need. In addition to reallocation, Treasury has shared best practices with recipients across the country, worked with the White House to promote lasting eviction prevention initiatives using ERA funds, and eased burdensome documentation requirements to more easily reach eligible renters in need—among other initiatives to promote program success.
These efforts have helped to contribute to a program that has, along with other Administration initiatives, prevented millions of evictions since the beginning of the pandemic. The program has been praised by experts like Princeton University’s Eviction Lab founder Matthew Desmond, who said that ERA and the federal eviction moratorium represent “the deepest investment in low-income renters the federal government has made since the nation launched its public housing system” and “the most important eviction prevention policy in American history.” Researchers have also found that ERA beneficiaries have not only received financial benefits from the program, but have also seen other positive effects on their well-being, such as improved mental health outcomes.