SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California has been slow to distribute rent assistance money to struggling residents during the coronavirus pandemic, and the state stands to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds listeners said Thursday.
Delays by the Department of Housing and Community Development in distributing the first $ 1.8 billion in federal money could mean California will miss the next round of funding intended to help tenants avoid eviction, the said. state auditor’s office in a statement. report.
“Given the limited time frame set by the federal government, we wanted to convey to you the need for continued attention in order to minimize the risk and the amount of funds the state could lose from September 30, 2021,” wrote Auditor Elaine Howle in a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom.
The ministry “must make every effort to increase the amount of funds committed before the federal deadline,” the report said.
Under federal rules, money is “obligated” when the state has agreed to pay it to households, not necessarily when it is paid.
The ministry had committed about $ 1.4 billion, or 81% of its first round of federal funding, according to the audit. If it doesn’t force more money on tenants by the end of the month, the department “could lose up to $ 337 million of its remaining uncommitted funds,” according to the report.