Biden Administration Begins to Redirect Rental Assistance

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Treasury moves more than $1.1 billion to areas with backlog of requests

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Most of the redirected money announced on Friday is being transferred from one state to another rather than from one state to another. Some of this is moving from relatively large state programs to urban areas whose needs have not been met. Treasury officials said in November that they planned to begin redirecting unused rental aid soon.

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For example, Georgia is moving approximately $25 million in and around Atlanta, both DeKalb and Fulton counties. Wisconsin is moving funds to the Milwaukee and Madison areas.

The rental-assistance program got off to a slow start last year. A fraction of the aid was distributed before the national eviction moratorium ended last summer. More money is now finding its way to tenants and landlords.

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States and territories distributed nearly $2.9 billion in rental assistance during November, the Treasury said, the largest amount of assistance paid to eligible families and the largest amount of payments made in any month since the program’s creation. represent numbers.

The administration has authorized projects ranging from $25 to $30 billion of the $47 billion in rental-assistance funding that was authorized or spent for a specific tenant or landlord by the end of 2021. Those funds have helped keep eviction filings below their pre-pandemic levels. Administration officials say.

While the program is overseen by the Treasury, it relies on a patchwork of more than 450 state, county and municipal governments and charitable organizations to distribute aid, which can be used to cover back rent, future rent and utilities. can be done for.

It took months for states and territories to create new programs, hire employees and craft rules for how money should be distributed. Often, tenants and landlords did not know that money was available, and many of those who applied had to deal with cumbersome applications and requests for documentation. Treasury officials issued guidance to ease the burden of paperwork and boost the flow of money for tenants and landlords.

The first $25 billion in rental-assistance programs was included in a pandemic aid package signed by then-President Donald Trump in December 2020. Congress added another $21.6 billion to the pandemic financial aid bill, after President Biden took office in March 2021.

The Treasury said it would conduct two additional rounds for the first pot of money in the coming weeks. It will not begin reallocating funds from pot money worth $21.6 billion until the end of March.

Write Andrew Ackerman [email protected] . Feather

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