Last updated April 26, 2022
The federal eviction moratorium is no longer in place, and the distribution of emergency rental assistance (ERA) funds is lagging in some states and running out in others. This means many renters risk losing their homes during the ongoing pandemic.
To understand where renters are most at risk of eviction, we’re tracking the states and jurisdictions where some form of eviction-prevention policies are still in place and how quickly states and localities are distributing their ERA funds.
This analysis offers a starting point for policymakers to understand where renters may face a greater risk of housing instability, and we focus on two policies meant to offer relief: eviction moratoria and ERA.
How emergency rental assistance rollout varies among states
Congress allocated almost $47 billion in ERA through pandemic-relief legislation to address renters’ urgent financial needs. Of the $25 billion allocated in the first round of ERA funding (known as ERA 1), close to $18 billion was paid to renters or landlords by February 28, 2022, according to the latest data available from the US Department of the Treasury.
As of the end of February, some states and local governments had spent a significant amount of the second round of ERA funding (known as ERA 2). Of the $21.55 billion allocated through the American Rescue Plan Act, or ERA 2, more than $6 billion was paid to renters or landlords by February 28, 2022.
ERA 1 expenditure rates have varied among states and localities. Although some states have spent all of their allocated funds, other states have faced administrative challenges and slow rollouts that have kept much of that money from reaching households in need. And other states, like North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, received allocations that may have been too high given the number of renter households in their jurisdictions.
As of February 28, ERA 2 expenditures were just starting in many states and localities, though a few states had spent more than half of their ERA 2 funds.
Where renters are protected by state or local eviction-prevention policies
After the Supreme Court vacated the federal eviction moratorium in August 2021, state and local eviction moratoria and other eviction-prevention policies became the last protections for at-risk renters. Some localities still have moratoria barring eviction under specific circumstances, and other states and localities have partial eviction-prevention policies in place. Partial protections include pausing eviction proceedings while a household’s application for ERA is processed or requiring that landlords file for ERA before they can file for an eviction, for example.
We’ve calculated the share of renter households who live in states or jurisdictions with some form of eviction moratoria or partial protections. Other states and localities may have policies that offer limited protection, such as voluntary eviction mediation or diversion or other light-touch prevention efforts, but those policies are not included in our analysis.
Where renters are most at risk of eviction
Given the scale of need across the country, renter households in states with low rates of ERA distribution and weak eviction protections likely have a higher risk of eviction than households in places that have distributed a larger share of their ERA funds or that have eviction moratoria or temporary holds in place. In the map below, we assess the pace of ERA 1 and ERA 2 expenditure in states with limited or no eviction protection to highlight where renter households may be at a higher risk of housing instability.