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Data Stories

After a slow start, states are now spending rental assistance at a steady rate.

Households struggling to pay rent or utility bills received relief from the $25 billion Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA1) program. State and local governments were responsible for administering the funds, which they began receiving in January 2021. The American Rescue Plan Act added $21 billion more to the program (ERA2) in March 2021.

$76.3 billion to help keep colleges and universities open.

Many colleges and universities closed during the pandemic and faced uncertain futures. To help them remain open, the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) program provided grants to approximately 4,900 institutions totaling $76.3 billion.

What is an assistance listing?

An assistance listing is a series of numbers used to identify each federal financial assistance program. We use the term “assistance listings” on our interactive dashboards.

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.

$63 billion to keep aviation workers employed. Here are the numbers.

Air travel was restricted during the pandemic, putting aviation jobs at risk. To help keep airline workers employed, the Pandemic Relief for Aviation Workers Payroll Support Program has provided $63 billion to passenger and cargo airlines and aviation contractors since March 2020.

Two programs totaling $52.5 billion to help make child care more available and safer.

As offices reopen and parents return to work, finding affordable child care can be difficult for low-income families. At the same time, early childcare providers are trying to stay open and provide safe environments for youngsters. Two programs included in the Child Care and Development Block Grant program received a total of $52.5 billion to assist families and early child care providers.

Internet access has been critical for remote learning. A $7.2 billion program is designed to help.

For families without home internet, schools and libraries with the internet have been lifelines for connecting students to their online classes. The Emergency Connectivity Fund, a new program created by the American Rescue Plan Act in March 2021, is providing a total of $7 billion to schools and libraries to pay for laptops, tablets, modems, Wi-fi hotspots, routers, and other broadband devices.

States received $189.5 billion in relief for schools. Here's the breakdown.

School closures and online learning during the pandemic have led to many students’ falling behind in their schoolwork. To help K-12 schools respond, states received Elementary and Secondary School Emergency (ESSER) grants totaling $189.5 billion. The states are distributing the funding to public, private, and charter schools to address a range of students needs.

Update: Three rounds of stimulus checks. See how many went out and for how much.

While you may have heard them referred to as stimulus checks, the Economic Impact Payments were, for the most part, direct deposited into bank accounts or sent out as bank cards. More than 476 million payments totaling $814 billion in financial relief went to households impacted by the pandemic. The Internal Revenue Service based the amounts that individuals received on income, tax filing status, and number of children (or qualifying dependents, like a relative).

$450 million to provide health care to patients at home. Here are the details.

Health care providers have used telehealth, or telemedicine, during the pandemic to deliver care to patients in their homes. The $450 billion COVID-19 Telehealth Program funded telecommunications services, information services, and devices, such as computers, smartphones, or tablets, needed for connecting to home care.
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