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Treasury: Nearly 11 Million Payments Made to Help Prevent Evictions

Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo has announced new data from the U.S. Department of the Treasury through December 31, 2022 shows that nearly 10.8 million Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) payments were made to households at risk of eviction, while investing in projects to support long-term housing stability.

“This new Emergency Rental Assistance data reflects an intentional effort to make sure that rental assistance got into the hands of those who needed it most, and those who might otherwise have faced the devastating consequences of eviction,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo during remarks at the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s 2023 Housing Policy Forum. “Today's data illustrates how ERA funds have kept millions of families in their homes. But beyond that, it underscores that we must build on the legacy of the ERA program and help communities make long-term, durable investments in eviction prevention, homeowner assistance, and the construction and preservation of affordable housing.”

Combined, ERA has made $46.55 billion available to promote housing stability. In addition, a report the Treasury Department released earlier this month found that state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments have also used $15.9 billion in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) for more than 2,100 projects to meet housing needs, including over $5.4 billion committed to affordable housing development and preservation.

“The Emergency Rental Assistance Program along with the federal eviction moratorium formed the most important federal housing policy in the last decade,” said Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted, and founder of Princeton University’s Eviction Lab. “These combined initiatives were the deepest investment in low-income renters the federal government has made since the nation launched its public housing system.”

ERA grantees nationwide have successfully used housing stability services to support outreach to various communities, to fund eviction prevention and diversion efforts, and to support relocation and rehousing efforts. While eviction diversion programs were uncommon before the pandemic, at least 180 jurisdictions across 36 states have launched or strengthened eviction diversion programs with ERA.

“Research has made clear the grave consequences of eviction for families. Evictions can interrupt school and work, undermine physical and mental health, and make it more challenging to qualify for housing assistance benefits or find new housing,” said Treasury Department Chief Recovery Officer Jacob Leibenluft in a recent blog post titled “Emergency Rental Assistance: Supporting Renting Families, Driving Lasting Reform.” Eviction can cause tenants to lose possessions, or face food insecurity. As the pandemic destabilized life for many Americans, these risks grew even more serious. But through the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program—created as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and dramatically expanded by the American Rescue Plan—the Biden-Harris Administration put forward an unprecedented response to the eviction crisis the pandemic exacerbated. At the same time, ERA has helped lay the groundwork for lasting eviction prevention infrastructure and new investments in affordable housing.”

The Treasury’s ERA program has provided communities with significant resources to support housing stability throughout the pandemic, and studies have shown that the majority of ERA funds have gone to low-income and/or traditionally underserved renters of color. The demographic information included in today’s data release also shows that more than 85% of ERA beneficiaries are very low-income families, and that funds have reached a diverse range of households.

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.
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