Long Beach is receiving an additional $1.1 million in emergency rental assistance funds from the federal government as the United States Treasury continues to reallocate unused funds from other states and local governments, the Treasury announced Thursday.
The funds will add to the roughly $70 million that the city has already distributed to households that fell behind on rent because their incomes were affected by the pandemic.
The city’s program closed its application window in March 2022 and has already distributed all of its funds, but it still has thousands of applicants who applied for aid but received nothing.
In a statement, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said that the program has helped keep millions of families in their homes and averted what many worried would be a mass eviction event in the country.
“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,” Adeyemo said.
The funds were made available because some states, counties and cities were unable to spend their funds fast enough—or they opted not to use them at all.
In the most recent reallocation cycle, Arizona, Louisiana and Utah, along with counties in Ohio, New Jersey, Georgia and Colorado voluntarily gave back over $141 million to the Treasury.
The last time Long Beach received additional funds was in August, when it was allocated $13 million through a loan from the state, which the city may not have to pay back.
Long Beach paid out $70.4 million in rental assistance and $3.1 million in utility payments for residents through its locally run rental assistance program, but the city was unable to help pay the rent for all that needed it. A total of $230 million in aid was requested by renters and landlords, according to the city’s dashboard.
Since the city closed its application portal, it has directed any new funds to applicants who were already in its system. A city spokesperson was unable to confirm how the new funding would be distributed before publication.
It’s unclear how many households will benefit from the new funding because the amount of rent owed per household has varied. The city’s $70.4 million emergency rental program amounted to 8,962 payments, or about $7,855 per transaction, according to city data.
The new funding comes as state and local COVID-19 eviction moratoriums have expired and renters are worried that unpaid rents left over from the pandemic will now result in a wave of evictions.
California was also a major recipient of the Treasury’s reallocation this week, getting over $63.7 million in additional aid. It’s unclear how that funding will be distributed, but Long Beach has been active in pursuing additional funds from the state to continue to help residents who are behind on their rent.