State and local officials disbursed less than 17% of the funds allocated for pandemic rent assistance by the end of August, the Treasury Department announced Friday.
Officials have disbursed $7.7 billion of the $46.5 billion in funds allocated to the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program meant to aid those at risk of eviction, the Treasury Department said in a statement.
The program was created eight months ago and has struggled to distribute its funds to tenants. A number of state officials have said the delays can be attributed to a lack of preparedness to facilitate the distribution of such large sums of money.
In the weeks leading up to Gov. Tim Walz’s “pause” on youth sports, state officials were privately scrambling for evidence to support the restrictions, at times admitting that “there isn’t much,” emails released Monday reveal.
“Here’s the way it should work: There is data, then there is a decision, then there is communication,” Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, explained at a Monday Senate hearing. “It’s not, ‘We need a message. Go find me the data that matches it.’”
Benson and her Republican colleagues published a trove of emails between state health officials and members of Gov. Walz’s staff ahead of Monday’s informational hearing.