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See the states that owe renters billions in housing assistance checks

States have $25 billion in the bank to hand to rental assistance. Most of it is just sitting there.

See the states that owe renters billions in housing assistance checks
[Source Photos: Nobi_Prizue/iStock and greenaperture/iStock]

For some of the American middle class, a combination of remote work, staying home, and stimulus checks has allowed them to add some cushion to skinny bank accounts during COVID-19. For many others, though, the pandemic has been a relentless hardship One in seven renters is behind on rent.

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In early 2020, Congress allocated $46 billion for renter and landlord assistance. But only about one-tenth of those funds have reached households in payouts that vary wildly state by state, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

CNBC has rendered these state payouts in a new U.S. map, with each state rendered in a hexagonal tile. The darker the state, the more of its allocated funding the state has paid out. Virginia and Texas appear almost black, having given out 42% and 50% of their allocation, respectively, of the $25 billion that the national government has sent states so far. But they are anomalous. The vast amount of the map rendered in baby blue, meaning most states have paid out less than 10% of their available funding to rental assistance. New York has paid out only 7.7% of rental assistance—and two-thirds of people living in New York City alone are renters.

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The news is particularly bad for racial equity, as people of color living in the U.S. are disproportionately likely to be behind on rent. One in five Latino renters and one in four Black renters are currently behind on rent, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

You can explore the full, interactive data visualization here.

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About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company who has written about design, technology, and culture for almost 15 years. His work has appeared at Gizmodo, Kotaku, PopMech, PopSci, Esquire, American Photo and Lucky Peach

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