The Treasury Department announced plans to redistribute rental assistance funds from states and localities that have not exhausted their money to those that have experienced surging demand of requests, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
It’s unclear which specific localities would lose or receive the redistributed funds, an administration official told the WSJ. Jurisdictions in rural states like Montana or North Dakota have large amounts of unused aid, while states with larger populations, like New York or Texas, are projected to run out of funds in the near future.
The redistributions are expected to become official in early December and could be more than $800 million, according to the WSJ. States and localities with surplus funds will reportedly have the opportunity to request to reallocate the funds to other jurisdictions.
Additionally, funds will be allowed to be redistributed within each state, from a state-run program to a city-run program, for example, according to the WSJ.
The White House projects nearly $20 billion of the $47 billion total in rental assistance funding will be spent by the end of the year.
“There is less unspent money today than there was six months ago, but we’re still committed to make sure that the money that is unspent gets reallocated as quickly as possible,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said, according to the WSJ. “There is a need to make sure that we get this money to tenants who need it.”
The program started off slowly, with only 17% of the aid being distributed in August, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported. Montana distributed only 11% of its $200 million in available funds as of Sept. 30, and North Dakota gave out just 4% of its funds by that time, the WSJ reported.
The first $25 billion in the rental assistance program came as part of former President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 pandemic aid package in 2020, according to the WSJ. Congress approved an additional $21.6 billion in March.
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