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Read our report on six communities’ experiences with pandemic funding and programs, which provides valuable lessons learned to improve federal emergency response programs.

<Data Story>

Who got rental assistance? We dig into the data.


The first round of rental assistance (ERA1) was meant to help low-income and underserved households struggling to pay their rent. Data released in February 2022 by the Department of the Treasury (Treasury)  shows that these communities did benefit from the $24 billion program.  For the period October 1 – December 31, 2021, 86% of households earning less than 51% of their area’s median income received rental assistance.

In addition, the recent data shows that of all recipients in this period: 

  • 42% of households identified as Black or African American 
  • 19% identified as Hispanic or Latino
  • 68% had female heads of households

State and local government were required to obligate at least 65% of their ERA1 funds by September 20, 2021. If they did not, Treasury could take back the unspent portions and re-distribute them to states and local governments that had exceeded the 65%. Treasury’s February 2022 report shows that Treasury re-distributed ERA1 funding to state and local governments that served a higher share of extremely low-income households and more diverse communities than average.  

NOTES about the February 2022 data:

For details on the program, follow this link to our Pandemic Response Funding dashboard and select Assistance Listing 21.023 (see screenshot below for instructions).

top filter bar on the Pandemic Response Funding page, with assistance listing 21.023 typed into the Assistance Listing field, with an arrow pointing to it stating "type assistance listing number here."

For more about on the Emergency Rental Assistance program, read our data story, Update: How much has each state spent on rental assistance.

Page last modified: 11/06/2023
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