Federal rent assistance running out, tenants still in need

In the fall, with the expiration of the federal moratorium on evictions, many states had improved their efforts, and administration officials began offering governors an exit: they could transfer their money to counties and cities. who were spending the money more efficiently, said Gene Sperling, an adviser to President Biden who oversees the White House program.

Arizona officials agreed to transfer $ 39 million to the state’s largest county, Maricopa, while Georgia shifted about $ 50 million of its allocation to Fulton and DeKalb counties in the region. Atlanta. The biggest change came in Wisconsin, where Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, agreed to transfer about $ 110 million to Milwaukee County and City officials, according to the Treasury Department.

That left only about $ 240 million in cash to transfer from states – including Vermont, Idaho, Delaware, and South Dakota – that weren’t spending their money fast enough.

“It’s disappointing for states and cities that were hoping that a large amount of additional funds would be reallocated to them, but it reflects the larger and positive reality that after the initial challenges, those funds are now spent or committed in favor. families in need at a much faster pace, ”said Sperling.

For example, Texas asked for $ 3 billion from the treasury as part of the reallocation process, according to Michael Lyttle, spokesperson for the Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The state will not receive additional funds, but several cities and counties in Texas will receive approximately $ 19 million in total.

“It is the only life jacket,” said Dana Karni, manager of the Eviction Right to Counsel project in Houston. “If we don’t have emergency rental assistance, there’s not much we can do. “

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