With eviction moratoriums expiring and the cost of housing soaring, the failure to spend federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) funds set up to address COVID-19 was a major concern for policymakers and the media in the summer and fall of 2021. These reports--Analysis of Models for Assessing Rental Assistance Need and Lessons from Eight States Regarding Factors That Have Contributed to States’ ERA1 Spending Rates--released by Abt Associates and the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA), document the two main reasons for this underspending. The first was the complicated process of creating and implementing a new federal program. The second was a congressionally mandated allocation formula that provided a disproportionate share of funding to states with smaller populations. The research provides context for efforts to date, as well as an analytic foundation for future policy development at all levels of government.
January 18, 2022