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

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Most Emergency Rental Aid Went to Low-Income Households Last Year
Emergency rental assistance at fair
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. 

This Aug. 30, 2014, photo shows the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs in Austin, Texas.
This Aug. 30, 2014, photo shows the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs in Austin, Texas.
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