Billions in allotted rent aid hasn’t gone out

Local logjams have meant just $3B of $47B has been sent to tenants, landlords

President Joe Biden (Getty, iStock)
President Joe Biden (Getty, iStock)

The federal government has appropriated billions of dollars to help besieged renters and landlords across the U.S. weather the economic storm, but states and municipalities have yet to distribute most of the money.

As of June, just $3 billion of the $46.6 billion Congress allotted in rent relief has reached those who need it, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Biden administration hopes another $2 billion was sent out in July, but that data has not yet been released.

The amount distributed appeared to be growing, with more given out in June than in the three previous months combined, according to the report. But the slow drip of relief is exacerbating struggles felt by both tenants and landlords. Industry experts blame the situation on state and local governments and charities charged with distributing the aid.

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Contrast the slow rollout with the IRS’ comparably lightning speed distribution of funds. The agency began sending stimulus payments across the country one day after President Biden signed legislation authorizing it back in March. Within one week, the IRS reportedly had distributed $242 billion in aid.

States such as New York are struggling to get aid out to tenants and landlords but problems persist across the nation, and time is running out.

The extended national eviction moratorium will protect most tenants from being kicked out of their homes only through Oct. 3. The latest ban is being challenged in court, and could be tossed. Some tenants will be saved by local measures, but others could be in danger of imminent eviction while billions in relief await distribution.

[WSJ] — Holden Walter-Warner