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Biden administration grants $520M to stop evictions

The Treasury under Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday announced that it had awarded more than $520 million in grants to help prevent evictions. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
The Treasury under Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday announced that it had awarded more than $520 million in grants to help prevent evictions. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

April 13 (UPI) -- The administration of President Joe Biden has announced it has awarded more than $520 million in grants to help renters facing eviction stay housed as eviction filings by landlords increased last year after the ending of pandemic safety nets.

The grants totally $521.1 million of reallocated funds under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program have been awarded to 82 state and local entities, the Treasury said Thursday.

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"The Emergency Rental Assistance Program, in combination with other administration initiatives, has kept millions of families in their homes and averted what many predicted would be a wave of evictions during the pandemic," Wally Adeyemo, deputy secretary of the Treasury, said in a statement.

"Today's announcement reflects a concerted effort to reallocate funds to programs that have demonstrated particular success in deploying rental assistance and will help put more funds into the hands of families facing urgent need."

The ERAP has provided more than $46 billion to support housing stability amid the pandemic, which saw millions of people out of work.

Such assistance combined with eviction moratoriums kept eviction filings in 2020 and 2021 to below historic averages, according to Princeton University's The Eviction Lab.

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However, that trend seems to have ended last year, with the Eviction Lab observing an increase of nearly 79% in eviction notices filed in the sites it tracked last year compared to 2021. In a typical year, landlords file some 3.6 million eviction cases, it said.

The Treasury said it awarded the grants to governments that have demonstrated success in deploying resources and have clear need for assistance, such as the city of Oakland, Calif., Gwinnett Count, Ga.; and Polk County, Iowa.

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