The new process will act as both the carrot and the stick, according to the Treasury, helping successful programs continue to meet community needs while laggards risk running out of money in the months to come.
The first $ 25 billion in rent assistance passed by Congress in December was allocated entirely from the treasury to state and local programs. The department also allocated $ 8.6 billion of the second tranche of funding, leaving about $ 13 billion still in federal coffers.
“The Treasury is pleased to provide these state and local government programs with additional resources to support Americans in need of rent assistance,” Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said. “We are also committed to reallocating resources to ensure that help reaches struggling tenants and landlords during the pandemic. “
Nearly 50 recipients responsible for disbursing federal funds had spent more than 70 percent of their first allocations as of July 31, according to the department.
The Treasury has highlighted a handful of jurisdictions it expects to give more money to, including Houston and Harris County, Texas, which had disbursed 92% of its first round of funding by the end of July. Texas, a state with relatively few tenant protections, has become an unlikely model for the program.
Philadelphia will also receive new funding, the department said, noting that the city has built an effective website and database that cross-checks data with public housing authorities and local utility companies. The system was designed to reduce documentation requirements and facilitate the application process.
The Treasury also honored New Orleans for its community outreach efforts to engage small landowners; Leon County, Florida, for the simplicity of its application; and Des Moines, Iowa, for the way he designed his program, which is connected to the local court system and provides real-time support to tenants facing evictions, among others.