420,000 renters received Emergency Rental Assistance payments in August according to the Treasury Department. This is up from the 340,000 households who received funds in July. The dramatic increase in payments has helped drop the delinquency rate for apartment rents as well.
Since January 1, state and local programs have distributed $7.7 billion of emergency assistance to renters in danger of eviction. With eviction moratoriums in place in many locations, these payments help both landlords and tenants avoid defaulting. So far, 1.4 million payments have been made to help renters. Unfortunately, a recent Census Pulse survey shows that approximately 3 million households are concerned about imminent evictions. Two-thirds of these households, who identified themselves as behind on rent, make less than $35,000 per year. According to Treasury data, 60% of the rental assistance payments have gone to renters who earn less than 30% of the median income in their area.
Thousands of applications for rental assistance are still in the pipeline; the federal government asked state and local organizations to pause eviction proceedings until the applications are reviewed. Additionally, the Treasury Department is planning a review of the funds in October. The review, which is required by law, will identify and reallocate excess funds to high distribution areas. The Treasury Department also released new design recommendations to make it easier for renters to file applications. The recommendations also promote some of the best practices implemented by different states to improve the process and help make more payments.