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Pfankuch: SD returns millions in unused housing assistance funds to federal government

Screenshot 2022-01-20 064015.jpg
SD News Watch
South Dakota received $271 million in federal funding to help renters remain in housing and keep landlords viable, but has given out only $25 million so far. Renters in Minnehaha County and Pennington County, where this home is located, have applied in high numbers for help.

The attached interview above is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment.

Lee Strubinger
Bart Pfankuch

South Dakota returned millions of unused federal dollars to the federal government. This money was earmarked for pandemic housing assistance. We look inside a reporter's notebook today with Bart Pfankuch from South Dakota News Watch.

Pfankuch's report

South Dakota has sent millions of dollars of unused COVID-19 housing assistance funds — allocated to help low-income renters — back to the federal government, mainly because not enough people applied for help.

As of early January 2022, the state had received about $271 million in federal funding to pay rent and utilities of low-income residents who fell behind during the pandemic. But so far, the state has distributed only about $24.9 million to needy residents, or about 9.2% of the total available funding.'

In September, South Dakota and other states that did not spend the money fast enough were required to return some of the money to the federal Treasury. That month, South Dakota returned about $22 million in unused housing assistance funds to the federal government, which is reallocating the excess money to states that are using it faster.

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