Just $3 billion in rent relief has gone out, with CDC eviction ban set to end
Share Now on:
Rental assistance is finally starting to get out more quickly to tenants and landlords. The Treasury Department said this week that $1.5 billion was distributed in June — more than in the previous three months combined.
But it’s still slow going. Just about 6.5% of the nearly $50 billion Congress allocated for rent relief has gone out so far.
And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s federal eviction moratorium is set to expire in just over a week.
The main reason it’s taking so long for rent relief to get to the people who need it?
“We’re trying to scale up an emergency Rental Assistance Program over a year into this pandemic,” said Will Fischer with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
When Congress approved those billions in rent relief, there was almost no infrastructure in place to distribute the money, he said.
Now, there are hundreds of programs processing applications. But tenants are being buried under a pile of paperwork, said Zach Neumann of the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project.
“There are a lot of forms that clients have to fill out. Once clients have completed their portion, their landlord has documents to submit, and it really is a time-consuming process,” Neumann said.
With the CDC moratorium about to expire states need to put policies in place to protect people while they’re waiting for rent relief, he said.
“Basically making application for rental assistance, a full defense to eviction. So, if you’ve applied for rental assistance, you can take that the court, and the judge will say, ‘We’re going to dismiss this case for now,'” Neumann said.
And give the rental assistance more time to come through.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.