Tracking Emergency Rental Assistance Distribution and Eviction Protections
Last updated December 16, 2021
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.
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, based on two policies meant to offer relief: eviction moratoria and ERA. We will update these maps and visuals as new data are released.
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), more than $12 billion was paid to renters or landlords by October 31, 2021, according to the latest data available from the US Department of the Treasury.
We focus here on ERA 1 distribution because the Treasury is making important policy determinations about reallocation of funds based on ERA 1 spending, and, as of the most recent Treasury report, fewer states and localities have started spending the second tranche of funding allocated through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, known as ERA 2. In future iterations of this analysis, we will include ERA 2 spending.
ERA 1 expenditure rates have varied widely among states and localities. Administrative challenges and slow rollouts have kept much of that money from reaching households in need.
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 states and localities still have moratoria barring eviction under specific circumstances, and others have partial eviction-prevention policies in place. Some 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.
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 in place 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 expenditure in states with limited or no eviction protection to highlight places where renter households may be at a higher risk of housing instability.