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.
Find more information on the Emergency Rental Assistance at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.