Federal pandemic rental aid helped 2.5 million households. Nearly 5 million are still struggling

One year after Congress first authorized billions of dollars in Covid-19 pandemic rental assistance, the money has helped more than 2.5 million struggling renters to remain in their homes. But there are still roughly 4.7 million households behind on their rent across the country. Last December, lawmakers appropriated $25 billion for the federal emergency rental assistance program and followed up with another $22 billion in March as part of the larger pandemic relief legislation known as the American Rescue Plan.
The money is still making its way to struggling renters. About 80% of the first tranche is expected to be spent or obligated by the end of the year, according to the Treasury Department, which delivered the funds to states, as well as some cities and counties. The department is currently reallocating funds to areas with more need. The program has been a success in many communities, but the aid was extremely slow in getting out the door in others as new state and local programs were stood up to distribute the money.
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