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NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel Statement on Biden-Harris Administration Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights

Washington, D.C. – The Biden-Harris administration announced today new actions and released a Blueprint to strengthen and enforce critical renter protections.

Strengthening and enforcing renter protections is vitally important to addressing the broader housing crisis. There is a tremendous power imbalance in our housing system that tilts heavily in favor of landlords at the expense of low-income and other marginalized renters, putting families at greater risk of housing instability and homelessness and fueling racial inequity. The administration’s announcements today are an important step towards achieving President Biden’s commitment to establishing a Renters Bill of Rights, but there is much more work still to be done.

Renters with the lowest incomes across the nation are in crisis. Even before the pandemic, 10 million extremely low-income households were struggling to keep roofs over their heads, always one financial shock away from falling behind on rent and being threatened with eviction and, in the worst cases, homelessness. During the pandemic, the Biden-Harris administration and Congress took historic action to provide unprecedented resources and protections to keep millions of renters stably housed. Today, as emergency resources are depleted and protections expire, these same households are again facing urgent challenges.

The time, energy and focus that the Biden-Harris administration has dedicated to strengthening tenant protections and to hearing directly from impacted people at the White House is significant and historic. It is farther than I’ve ever seen a White House go to amplify and promote the importance of renter rights and protections. But while today’s announcement includes important actions, the White House missed the opportunity to act on other key recommendations made by NLIHC and the NLIHC-led HoUSed campaign and Tenant Leader Cohort. NLIHC remains committed to working closely with the administration and Congress to take all necessary actions to ensure renters with the lowest incomes remain stably housed.

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