Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today voted to pass the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act (H.R. 7301), a bill to extend and expand critical economic relief and housing protections for renters, homeowners and families at risk of homelessness amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The bill would continue several expiring housing relief programs established by the CARES Act and advanced by the Heroes Act.
“As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on our economy, millions of Americans are struggling to pay their rent, mortgages, utility bills and other housing costs,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “This latest relief effort will help American families make ends meet and keep a roof over their heads as we continue to fight the virus and get to the other side of the public health emergency.”
Key provisions of the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act include:
- Extending the eviction moratorium to March 27, 2021, and expanding it to protect all renters;
- Providing $100 billion in emergency assistance to help Americans pay rent and utility bills;
- Offering low-cost loans to landlords and expanding forbearance protections for all landlords;
- Supporting federal housing assistance programs to keep rents affordable and provide safe and decent housing conditions in public housing, Section 8, rural housing, Section 202 Housing for the Elderly and Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities;
- Providing $11.5 billion for homeless assistance grants and $1 billion for new Housing Choice Vouchers to support people and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness, along with survivors of domestic violence;
- Funding fair housing enforcement and counseling programs to help renters, homeowners and people experiencing homelessness navigate their housing options and rights;
- Extending the foreclosure moratorium for 6 months and expanding it to protect all homeowners in America;
- Expanding forbearance relief to protect all homeowners, and ensuring that no borrower is forced to pay a lump sum at the end of a forbearance period; and
- Providing $75 billion in direct assistance to homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgage, property taxes, property insurance and other housing-related costs.