If North Dakota can’t spend rental assistance money prudently, then we shouldn’t spend it at all

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MINOT, N.D. — The State of North Dakota received $352 million in funding through the federal government’s Emergency Rental Assistance program.

The money was intended to help renters who had fallen behind during the pandemic, but now the state is set to return about 42% of that funding, or $149 million dollars.

Why? The state says they can’t spend it prudently on the timeline the federal government has laid out.

“I think that makes sense for us,” Jessica Thomasson, executive policy director for family stability and community inclusion at the North Dakota Department of Human Services, told reporter Adam Kurtz . “We are a state with a population that if you’re going to spend those dollars effectively, according to program guidelines in the timeframe that’s given, that’s not realistic.”

That makes sense.

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