Rep. Gil Cisneros wants to see more federal support for renters during the pandemic.
The spread of COVID-19 and shut-down of buinesses has led to historic unemployment in the United States, which in turn makes things difficult for renters. To help people who are renting their homes, Cisneros backed the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act, which aims to give relief to renters, landlords, homeowners and people experiencing homelessness.
“We’re reaching the end of another month and families are struggling to make rent and mortgage payments,” Cisneros wrote on Twitter. He explained that he voted for the new piece of legislation to help residents that are currently struggling with their housing.
Major cities in the country were struggling to provide enough affordable housing, even before the pandemic hit. According to a survey by the U.S Census Bureau, about 30% of renters have little to no confidence that they will be able to make their next housing payment.
Organizations like the National Low Income Housing Coalition have called on government officials to implement emergency rental assistance and rent cancellation during the pandemic, as so many Americans are out of work.
“The need for a comprehensive, uniform eviction and foreclosure moratorium and for emergency rental assistance is urgent, as state and local eviction moratoriums around the country expire and low-income renters, who have lost jobs and wages in record numbers due to the pandemic, struggle to pay the rent,” wrote NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel.
“With the highest levels of job losses since the Great Depression and a pandemic that continues to spread, low-income workers and communities of color are disproportionately harmed. Without a significant federal intervention, a nationwide eviction tsunami is inevitable.”
The bill is designed to help residents in different ways. For renters and landlords, the bill would extend the moratorium on evictions until March 2021, provide $100 billion for emergency rental assistance, and provide additional funding for federal housing assistance programs to make sure that rent remains affordable, among other provisions.
For homeowners, the bill would extend the foreclosure moratorium to protect homeowners for six months after it is enacted, provide $75 billion for the Homeowner Assistance Fund and provide liquidity for mortgage servicers.
And for homeless individuals, the legislation would provide $11.5 billion for homeless assistance grants and provide $1 billion for new Housing Choice Vouchers that would be targeted to people at risk of experiencing homelessness and survivors of domestic violence.
“I’m voting to deliver the relief our renters, landlords, homeowners and people experiencing homelessness so desperately need. The American people cannot wait for action any longer,” Cisneros said in a statement. “I strongly urge the Senate to immediately pass this bill.”
The bill passed the House on June 29. The Senate is up next to vote on the bill