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house Bill H.R. 7301

Should Congress Establish a $100 Billion Emergency Rental Assistance Fund for Renters Affected by COVID-19?

Argument in favor

Renters are experiencing unprecedented financial pressures due to COVID-19. Consequently, many are teetering on the verge of eviction and homelessness if they cannot pay rent and utilities once eviction moratoriums expire across the country beginning in July. The federal government needs to provide assistance to help renters maintain their existing housing throughout the pandemic.

jimK's Opinion
···
06/28/2020
Yes, again help the people who are suffering by our government’s wholly inept leadership which should have brought the unmitigated spread of this disease under control in February, the people impacted by the financial consequences of the pandemic did not bring their financial difficulties about by anything that they personally did- their government brought this about. Further, the overall support of our people has been embarrassing when compared to most peer nations. Canada gave impacted citizens something like $2000.00 a month, the UK gave effected workers 70% to 80% of their normal earnings. None had to deal with uninsured health care costs. Any normal person can easily see that the easiest way to protect the economy is to insure that the people have enough funds to buy stuff- so people can feed and house themselves and producer’s have markets for their products. Instead, we allowed funds to go straight to businesses and left most everyone else to just fend for themselves, if nothing else, the pandemic is clearly highlighting structural flaws in our societal practices - it should become a driver to modernize the way we provide essential services and ensure the well being of the populace. It is time to catch up with most of the industrialized world.
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Dicr's Opinion
···
06/29/2020
We need the Human Fund. A package that takes care of people. We are suffering on too many fronts and there is no time for trickledown economics which have been proven not work anyway. We’ve done more than enough for big business in this country, the wealth gap proves that.
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larubia's Opinion
···
06/29/2020
What we need is a freeze. Just freeze all rent, mortgage, car payments until everyone can get safely back to work. Add the months lost to the backend of the loans.
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Argument opposed

Local, state, and federal government spending to help renters weather the COVID-19 pandemic has already risen significantly; therefore, there is no need for this legislation. Additionally, even if additional rental assistance spending is needed, there’s no need to establish a new program to handle these funds. Moreover, this bill doesn’t even include any actual appropriations, it merely authorizes $100 billion in funding for this program that would need to be provided later.

Deidre's Opinion
···
06/29/2020
Open up the housing authority enrollment instead so an existing agency can help with temporary assistance makes more sense. They can ask for money as it is needed instead and then use what they have instead of allocating money.
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operaman's Opinion
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06/29/2020
No! Not a wise decision. 100$Billlion is a very slippery hill to slide down searching for the next entitlement.
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Caren's Opinion
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06/29/2020
After reading the details provided by Countable I have to say no because it sounds like each state has appropriations for this issue. Perhaps some cities and states do this better and have better ways that they are handling this to help people. On the federal level we know Congress seems to butt heads and things get held up while they each blame the other party. The fact is that homelessness has already increased. A couple months ago I heard that there were were a hundred more in our city who are now homeless. The people who have been evicted are suffering and those who cannot collect rent to pay bills also suffer. The economy needs to open up and herd immunity needs to be increased by not wearing a mask or preventing people from gathering. The virus has increased because people have been shut in, many have mandated and scared people into wearing masks and their immunity have decreased and so we have more cases of Covid. Doctors know more and seem to be treating it more effectively. Democrats and the media need to stop politicizing this and inciting fear. Like many others I believe this is all about the election, forcing mail in ballots to steal the election. Enjoy your Fourth of July celebrations because this might be our last. If Democrats get back in power we become a communist country with a dictatorship and this country ceases to exist with the constitution and freedoms the framers intended. All of the riots and tearing down statues bear that out as well as the demands by BLM. BLM prove they are domestic terrorists and this country should not negotiate with them. TRUMP 2020!! Please do not allow our elections to be stolen and save our country!!
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What is House Bill H.R. 7301?

This bill — the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020 — would authorize the creation of a $100 billion emergency rental assistance fund to help families and individuals pay rent and utility bills during and after the COVID-19 pandemic (without providing appropriations to fund the new program). 

Renters could use the fund to receive help paying:

  • Future rent and utilities;
  • Unpaid rent and utilities that have accumulated; and
  • Other services, such as case management and tenant-landlord mediation, to help them remain stably housed.

Each month, a household could receive up to 120% of the fair market rent or the small area fair market rent for their area, whichever is greater, or a higher amount as determined necessary by the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 

Funds from the rental assistance program would be distributed by formula to HUD’s existing network of state, territory, city, and county Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) grantees. The first 50% of funds would be allocated within seven days of this bill’s passage using HUD’s existing ESG formula; the remaining funds would be allocated within 45 days of this bill’s passage using a new HUD-developed formula reflecting the need for additional emergency rental assistance during COVID-19.

In addition to authorizing funds for current ESG grantees, this bill would set aside a special allocation for tribes and tribal housing authorities and Native Hawaiians to address emergency rental and utility payment assistance needs in those communities.

States and communities that have already taken actions to provide emergency rental assistance would be allowed to use funds from this program to reimburse themselves for activities eligible under this bill.

The program would use the same framework as the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program, an existing federal homeless assistance program that provides temporary rental and utility payment assistance to households during emergencies.

Impact

Renters; landlords; assistance for renters experiencing financial difficulties due to COVID-19; state and local housing assistance programs; Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) grantees.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 7301

$50.00 Million
The CBO estimates that it would cost $50 million over the period 2020-2030 to administer the rental assistance program authorized in this legislation. This would not include $100 billion to fund the program itself, which would have to be appropriated in other legislation.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) introduced this legislation to create a $100 billion emergency rental assistance program to help families and individuals make rent and pay utilities during the COVID-19 pandemic:

“This legislation would create a $100 billion emergency rental assistance fund to help struggling renters across the nation as well as mom and pop landlords relying on rental payments for their retirement,” said Chairwoman Waters. “We must take immediate action to prevent the COVID-19 crisis from turning into a national eviction crisis. It is absolutely essential for the next COVID-19 relief package to include this bill.”

Original cosponsor Rep. Danny Heck (D-WA) adds:

“Millions of Americans are facing new financial uncertainty, through no fault of their own. This bill will help tenants pay their rent, without placing the burden on landlords, many of whom are relying on payments from renters to pay their mortgages. It is vital to our recovery and to the wellbeing of Americans that we do everything we can to keep people in their homes.”

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), sponsor of this bill’s Senate companion, says:

“This [COVID-19] pandemic is yet another painful reminder of just how vulnerable millions of workers are to a single setback – whether it is losing your job, a broken-down car, or just being late on rent. Congress must act now to keep families in their homes. That’s why I am introducing the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act of 2020 to ensure that renters remain safely and affordably housed during and after this crisis.”

The National Low Income Housing Coalition supports this legislation. Its president and CEO, Diane Yentel, says:

“Even before the coronavirus, 11 million renters – including 8 million of America’s lowest-income seniors, people with disabilities, low-wage workers and other individuals – were paying at least half of their limited incomes to keep a roof over their heads, leaving them one financial crisis away from eviction and, in worst cases, homelessness. For many, this pandemic is that financial crisis. Congress should be doing everything they can to keep people stably housed during and after this public health emergency by implementing a national moratorium on evictions and providing at least $100 billion in rental assistance.”

Joel Ratner, President and CEO of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, says this legislation responds to the current challenges brought about by COVID-19:

“This bill is deeply responsive to the current situation. We know that many vulnerable residents in urban and suburban and even rural places who are renters have lost their jobs. Many of those who are unemployed are renters who are being forced to make difficult decisions. Without action as proposed in this bill many of these renters will be evicted. We should expect that this will result in a wave of evictions and homelessness that we are deeply unprepared for. In addition the repercussions of this tsunami of evictions will destroy places that are already fragile. The negative impacts for these places and these people will be massive. Only by taking strong action can this cycle of social destruction be avoided.”

However, critics point out that while this bill would authorize the creation of a $100 billion housing fund, it wouldn’t provide the appropriations to actually fund it, so Congress would subsequently need to enact other legislation providing the funding.

This legislation has been reported to the House with the support of nine Democratic House cosponsors. This legislation is supported by a range of housing, state and local government, child advocacy, faith, health care, women’s, civil rights, disability rights, and social welfare organizations. These include the National Alliance to End Homelessness, National Low Income Housing Coalition, Up for Growth, National League of Cities, US Conference of Mayors.


Of NoteHousing is the single largest expense for most American families. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, a quarter of the United States’ 44 million renters spent more than half of their incomes on housing.

According to the Urban Institute, it would cost approximately $96 billion to help an estimated 17.6 million rental households that need rental assistance due to COVID-19’s economic impacts for six months.

To date, the federal government has sent an additional $3 billion to cities and states to help with housing issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Pew Charitable Trusts reports that local governments still don’t have enough money to help all who need financial help during the pandemic.

The HEROES Act (H.R. 6800), which included $100 billion for rental assistance, passed the Democrat-controlled House on May 15, 2020. However, it has yet to receive a vote in the Senate and is unlikely to pass that chamber, given Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) opposition to the bill.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / numbeos)

AKA

Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020

Official Title

To prevent evictions, foreclosures, and unsafe housing conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed June 30th, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 232 Yea / 180 Nay
    IntroducedJune 24th, 2020

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    Yes, again help the people who are suffering by our government’s wholly inept leadership which should have brought the unmitigated spread of this disease under control in February, the people impacted by the financial consequences of the pandemic did not bring their financial difficulties about by anything that they personally did- their government brought this about. Further, the overall support of our people has been embarrassing when compared to most peer nations. Canada gave impacted citizens something like $2000.00 a month, the UK gave effected workers 70% to 80% of their normal earnings. None had to deal with uninsured health care costs. Any normal person can easily see that the easiest way to protect the economy is to insure that the people have enough funds to buy stuff- so people can feed and house themselves and producer’s have markets for their products. Instead, we allowed funds to go straight to businesses and left most everyone else to just fend for themselves, if nothing else, the pandemic is clearly highlighting structural flaws in our societal practices - it should become a driver to modernize the way we provide essential services and ensure the well being of the populace. It is time to catch up with most of the industrialized world.
    Like (70)
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    Open up the housing authority enrollment instead so an existing agency can help with temporary assistance makes more sense. They can ask for money as it is needed instead and then use what they have instead of allocating money.
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    We need the Human Fund. A package that takes care of people. We are suffering on too many fronts and there is no time for trickledown economics which have been proven not work anyway. We’ve done more than enough for big business in this country, the wealth gap proves that.
    Like (45)
    Follow
    Share
    What we need is a freeze. Just freeze all rent, mortgage, car payments until everyone can get safely back to work. Add the months lost to the backend of the loans.
    Like (33)
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    Share
    Yes. We dont need more homeless people. Unless they are thrown out of the White House!
    Like (19)
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    Renters have gotten few protections in this pandemic. They are facing huge rental price increases and non lease renewals depending on their career path.
    Like (19)
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    Yes! We need to protect each other! If renters do not receive help, we will be in more deep shit! If you can’t have compassion for these people, perhaps I can appeal to your selfishness. Use the three links I've provided so you can look at what could happen to outskirts of our large cities – YOU WILL HAVE TO SEE THIS MOST DAYS DRIVING TO WORK IF YOU LIVE IN THE SUBURBS! You will know you are partly responsible! Think about the large and medium cities by you; Washington DC, New York City, Charleston, Mimi Beach, Denver, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Olympia, Seattle, and more etc. The rich will have to see scenes like this: https://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-slum-dwellers-return-to-garib-nagar-2559565 https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/india-census-says-1-in-6-lives-in-unsanitary-slums-1.1403897 https://collections.mcny.org/Explore/Highlights/Jacob%20A.%20Riis/?gclid=CjwKCAjwxev3BRBBEiwAiB_PWKrsoSc6KqS1vYmM4zSpCJ82ma6fBv9J03BvcAKe2YPKxo-xPmP3BBoCrbEQAvD_BwE&gclid=CjwKCAjwxev3BRBBEiwAiB_PWKrsoSc6KqS1vYmM4zSpCJ82ma6fBv9J03BvcAKe2YPKxo-xPmP3BBoCrbEQAvD_BwE
    Like (16)
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    The government needs to do something & this is a great idea. People who are unemployed need a lot more assistance than that paltry $1200 that some of us waited 3 months to get and some never got & millions of dead people got, BUT the problem is there is no oversight or control over where the money is going, which would give unscrupulous people such as Trump free reign to throw the money at their favorite idea- such as that stupid wall he tried using military money on.
    Like (13)
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    Most people struggle with rent. My parents bills for their apartment is literally the exact amount of their paycheck so they rarely have money left over.
    Like (13)
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    During the time of multiple crises, Congress needs to do all it can to help people stay in homes, feed their families, and care for their health. Deficits and budgets are meaningless if the American people are starving, dying, and losing their homes. Please act quickly to protect renters, a large portion of whom are people of color who are already in danger of the virus and of poverty. How can this be the richest country in the world if people are losing their homes at high rates?
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    Renters should have the same rights as home owners. They need help too!
    Like (11)
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    No! Not a wise decision. 100$Billlion is a very slippery hill to slide down searching for the next entitlement.
    Like (11)
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    Why is helping people in need a politicized question? Put yourself in the place of the people who will benefit from this fund, then answer the question and vote.
    Like (10)
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    Of course we should support having people keep their homes!!!
    Like (9)
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    After reading the details provided by Countable I have to say no because it sounds like each state has appropriations for this issue. Perhaps some cities and states do this better and have better ways that they are handling this to help people. On the federal level we know Congress seems to butt heads and things get held up while they each blame the other party. The fact is that homelessness has already increased. A couple months ago I heard that there were were a hundred more in our city who are now homeless. The people who have been evicted are suffering and those who cannot collect rent to pay bills also suffer. The economy needs to open up and herd immunity needs to be increased by not wearing a mask or preventing people from gathering. The virus has increased because people have been shut in, many have mandated and scared people into wearing masks and their immunity have decreased and so we have more cases of Covid. Doctors know more and seem to be treating it more effectively. Democrats and the media need to stop politicizing this and inciting fear. Like many others I believe this is all about the election, forcing mail in ballots to steal the election. Enjoy your Fourth of July celebrations because this might be our last. If Democrats get back in power we become a communist country with a dictatorship and this country ceases to exist with the constitution and freedoms the framers intended. All of the riots and tearing down statues bear that out as well as the demands by BLM. BLM prove they are domestic terrorists and this country should not negotiate with them. TRUMP 2020!! Please do not allow our elections to be stolen and save our country!!
    Like (9)
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    This is just one more example of the poor and underpaid receiving the short end of the stick during this pandemic and economic crisis. Putting people out on the street will only make this situation worse. We had billions of $ for big business bailouts which the GOP refuses to account for to the American people. It is time that the government serves those individuals truly in need.
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    Rent is a necessity if you cannot pay it you get evicted
    Like (8)
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    Help Those Who Truly Need The Help. Nobody should be penalized by something they had no control over.
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    JimK addressed this very nicely....nothing really I can add.
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    Yes let’s provide help to them!
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