State and local officials responsible for doling out more than $46 billion in federal rental assistance had distributed just $1.5 billion as of the end of May, according to new Treasury Department data that illustrated a severe bottleneck in the aid.
Even as officials picked up the pace of disbursal — they served 160,000 households in May, a 60 percent increase from April — the delivery of the funds remained well behind demand, with fewer than 350,000 households served so far by programs intended to help millions.
“State and local governments must do more to accelerate aid to struggling renters and expand programs to meet the scale of assistance needed,” Treasury said in a blog post Friday. “While some state and local programs are increasingly reaching households in need, others lag far behind, and many programs have just launched in recent weeks.”
Congress passed two tranches of rental relief in December and March, allocating $46.5 billion to help keep tenants in their homes during the Covid-19 crisis. Last week, President Joe Biden extended a federal eviction moratorium to July 31 amid lingering concerns about how much of the aid had reached landlords and renters….