It was also found that Black tenants received the most pandemic assistance, followed by female-led households. Treasury discovered that over 40% of tenants receiving help in the fourth quarter of 2021 were Black, and that two-thirds were headed by female households. This data was consistent with the information Treasury had throughout the year.
Noel Andres Poyo is the Treasury's deputy assistant secretary for Community Economic Development. He stated that this money flows from Treasury to all states and territories in the country. "It's been very encouraging for me to see states that are diverse and to watch these agencies work really hard. It was really difficult to set up these programs. This data reflects the need.
According to Princeton University's Eviction Lab, women with low incomes, particularly women of color, are most at risk of being evicted. Eviction is also possible for domestic violence victims and families with kids.
Peter Hepburn, an Eviction Lab research fellow, stated that it was encouraging to see rental assistance reach those most in dire need, particularly women, Black renters, as well as low-income households. These are the most vulnerable groups to eviction, and were the most affected by the economic effects of the pandemic. These are the people that this money was intended to help.
Last year, $46.5 billion was approved by lawmakers for Emergency Rental Assistance. Despite initial difficulties in getting the funds out, distribution has been moving at a rapid pace over the past few months. Over $25 billion has already been spent and obligated in 2021. This amounts to 3.8 million household payments, Treasury announced Thursday.
According to the agency, beneficiaries were a result of their efforts to reach low-income communities over the past year.
Treasury advised states and localities to make application multilingual. It also introduced flexible guidelines that allow tenants and landlords to self-atteste their income. It targeted communities that were harder to reach and promoted the rental assistance program in Spanish and Black media.
Wally Adeyemo, Deputy Secretary of Treasury, stated in a statement that "a year later Treasury is happy to report the vast majority rental assistance has gone towards keeping the lowest income families in their homes during this pandemic." This was not an accident. We continue to use all levers to ensure that these funds are distributed fairly and encourage local grantees and state to make access easier.
Oregon is a good example. It went above and beyond Treasury guidelines regarding how funds would prioritized. For example, Oregon said that it was able to determine if a household lives within a census tract where there is a high proportion of low-income renters at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability. The applications are available in five languages, and priority is given to the most in need of housing assistance, not to those who apply first.
Diane Yentel CEO, National Low Income Housing Coalition stated that "our collective efforts to ensure that these funds reach the lowest and most marginalized people are clearly working." "Households that received assistance were overwhelmingly very low or extremely low income, and disproportionately people from color."