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

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The attached interview is taken from SDPB’s daily public affairs programme, In the moment.

South Dakota returned millions of unused federal dollars to the federal government. This money was intended for housing assistance in the event of a pandemic. Today we look into a reporter’s notebook with South Dakota News Watch’s Bart Pfankuch.

Pfankuch’s report

South Dakota returned millions of dollars in unused COVID-19 housing assistance funds — allocated to help low-income renters — to the federal government, mostly because too few people applied for help.

By early January 2022, the state had received approximately $271 million in federal funding to pay rent and utilities for low-income residents who had fallen behind during the pandemic. But so far, the state has distributed only about $24.9 million to residents in need, or about 9.2 percent of the total funding available.

In September, South Dakota and other states that hadn’t spent the money quickly 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 reallocates excess money to states that use it faster.

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