Treasury Dept to Redirect Rental-Assistance Money to States in Need

The Treasury Department is redirecting rental-assistance money from some states and localities that haven’t used most of their funds to others facing logjams of aid requests, The Wall Street Journal reported.

It’s unclear which jurisdictions would lose and gain funds, but states with bigger populations like New York and Texas are expected to use up their rental-assistance money over the coming week and months, while more rural states like Montana and South Dakota have an ample supply.

By the end of 2021, the Biden administration expects as much as $20 billion of the $47 billion in rental-assistance funding Congress authorized to be spent, the Journal reported. An additional $5 billion to $10 billion will be committed to a specific tenant or landlord before distribution.

“There is less unspent money today than there was six months ago, but we’re still committed to make sure that the money that is unspent gets reallocated as quickly as possible,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told the Journal. “There is a need to make sure that we get this money to tenants who need it.”

The rental-assistance program commenced slowly this year, with only a portion of the aid distributed before a national eviction moratorium ended this summer. More money has started to reach tenants and landlords, the Journal reported.

Some tenants and landlords didn’t know there was money available, and many applicants had to deal with complicated applications and documentation. 

Gene Sperling, a senior adviser to President Biden, said too many avoidable evictions will take place unless the administration uses reallocation “to get more places to up their game and more funds to those most effective in getting aid quickly to very vulnerable renters and small landlords.”

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