The Biden administration’s effort to head off a crisis when the federal moratorium on evictions expires at the end of the month is gaining modest momentum, with 290,000 tenants receiving $1.5 billion in pandemic relief in June, according to new Treasury Department statistics.
But the flow of the cash, part of a $47 billion infusion of cash for rental assistance included in two pandemic relief packages, remains sluggish and hampered by confusion at the state level, potentially endangering tenants who have fallen behind in their rent over the past year.
“While more households are getting help, in many states and localities, funds are still not flowing fast enough to renters and landlords,” Treasury officials warned in a statement accompanying the release of the spending numbers.
The statement also listed a new set of programs intended to help homeowners who were struggling to pay their mortgages, part of an “all-out effort” by the administration to prevent a crisis.
took the unusual step of declining to consider a challenge to the moratorium in hopes of buying more time for the funding to make its way to tenants and landlords.
Even with the federal extension, tenants’ rights groups fear that millions of renters might be at risk of eviction this fall. And while Mr. Biden’s domestic policy team believes that number to be lower, they have been frantically pushing to get the rental assistance money out the door as fast as possible.