Households struggling to pay rent or utility bills received relief from the $25 billion Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA1) program. State and local governments responsible for administering the funds began receiving them in January 2021. The American Rescue Plan added $21 billion more to the program (ERA2) in March 2021.
Our data story posted in October 2021 showed that as of August 31, 2021, 1.4 million households had received $7.1 billion in ERA1 rental assistance.
Update: As of November 30, 2021, 2.7 million households had received $13.6 billion from ERA 1.
State and local government were required to obligate at least 65% of the ERA1 funds by September 20, 2021. If they did not, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) could take back the unspent portions and re-distribute them to states and local governments that had exceeded the 65%. States could also voluntarily return unspent funds to Treasury, which could then give the funds to other localities within the state. For example, Iowa voluntarily returned $30 million in unspent rental assistance to Treasury, who then redistributed those funds to Polk County, Iowa.