How Much Rent Relief Will I Get? You’re More Likely to Get Help if You’re White and Live in Rural America.
by Aleszu Bajak and Romina Ruiz-Goiriena , USA Today
The Emergency Assistance Rental Program won’t benefit all Americans equally, according to a USA TODAY analysis. The government payments will overwhelmingly benefit white Americans living in less populated states even though most Americans and most Americans affected by the pandemic and the recession live in the most populated states.
Part of the problem is that there wasn’t enough rental assistance to go around in the first place. Then the government decided to calculate aid dollars for medium and large states according to the total population while giving less populated states a set amount. That means renters living in states like New York, California and Massachusetts – home to some of the most expensive cities in the country – will come up short. Renters in less populated states like Vermont and Wyoming will get more money.
A USA TODAY analysis of rental allocation to all 50 states found Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming will receive substantially more money per eligible renter than other states. Vermont and Wyoming each received over $2,600 per renter compared with the national average of $837. At $3.8 billion, heavily populated states New York and California received the highest amount of total aid overall but the least in per-renter funding, at $378.76 and $443.56 respectively.