Why COVID Rental Assistance Is So Slow : Planet Money Congress created a massive pile of money to help people pay rent during the pandemic. Why have so few people gotten help? We follow the money. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

The Rent Help Is Too Damn Slow

The Rent Help Is Too Damn Slow

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ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Back in December of 2020, Congress set aside a gigantic pile of money: $25 billion for rental assistance. Even more money would be approved in later bills.

This is a massive amount of money just to help people pay rent, a historically massive amount.

Akira Johnson remembers hearing about this on the news. She remembers it because she was one of the millions of people who would need help paying her rent. She qualified. She applied. And then she waited. Nine full months after Senators first announced, "help is on the way," Akira Johnson and so many others have yet to receive that help. Today on the show, we try to find out what's been going wrong. We follow the money, from that moment it was set aside by Congress, through logjam after logjam, past well-intentioned obstacles, and "cold-blooded" obstructionists, all the way down to Akira's mailbox... hopefully.

Music: "Cut Glass Stars," "Strelitzia Number 5" and "Delta Cycle"

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