Most Emergency Rental Aid Went to Low-Income Households Last Year

By: - February 25, 2022 12:00 am

Tenants wait to apply for emergency rental assistance at a fair in Jackson, Miss., in July 2021. New U.S. Treasury Department data shows high percentages of aid reached Black-, Latino- and female-headed households nationwide in 2021. Rogelio V. Solis/The Associated Press

Low-income Americans received more than 80% of federal emergency rental assistance money distributed last year, according to data released this week by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Some 2.47 million households received $12.6 billion in Emergency Rental Assistance program assistance in 2021, the data shows.

Nearly 64% of the aid went to households earning 30% or below of their area’s median income, the data shows.

Households earning between 30% and 50% of the area median income received almost 23% of the aid, and those earning 50% to 80% received nearly 14%.

The Treasury Department touted the data as a win for the program’s goals.

“Treasury is pleased to report that the vast majority of rental assistance has gone to keeping the lowest-income families in their homes during the pandemic,” Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo wrote in a news release.

Treasury provided demographic data, which recipients self-report, for about 1.63 million households.

During the first quarter of 2021, White residents received 42% of the aid, while Black or African American residents received 37%; those percentages were reversed during the last quarter of the year.

Hispanic or Latino recipients made up between 17% and 19% of recipients during the year. Female-headed households received 56% of the aid during the first quarter; that rose to 68% during the last quarter, data shows.

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