Washington, DC - The $12 billion for housing and homelessness included in this bill is an important step forward, and one of the largest ever one-time increases in federal funding for HUD. These funds are urgently needed to meet the dire needs of people who are experiencing homelessness or are right on the brink, and will go a long way towards shoring up understaffed and under-resourced homeless service providers working to respond to tremendous new challenges. The eviction and foreclosure moratoriums included in the law, while not going as far as needed, will provide important assurance to many low-income renters and homeowners that they will not lose their homes during a global pandemic.
These important funding and policy provisions in the bill wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated and effective advocacy of members of NLIHC's Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition, and without the steadfast determination of congressional leaders like Senate Minority Leader Schumer (D-NY), House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Banking Committee Chair Crapo (R-ID) and Ranking Member Brown (D-OH), Senate Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Member Reed (D-RI), House Financial Services Committee Chair Waters (D-CA) and Ranking Member McHenry (R-NC), and House THUD Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Price (D-NC) and Ranking Member Diaz-Balart (R-FL).
It has never been more clear that housing is health care. People experiencing homelessness are at high risk of both severe illnesses from coronavirus and of potentially spreading it to others given their inability to isolate or self-quarantine after being exposed to the illness. Providing resources to protect against or contain an outbreak of coronavirus among people who are homeless and to keep the lowest-income people housed during this pandemic is not only a moral imperative; it’s an urgent public health necessity. Our collective health depends on every one of us being safely and affordably housed.
Now that the bill has been signed into law, we will work with HUD to ensure that these funds are allocated as quickly and effectively as possible to the people and communities most in need. And we will work with Congress to ensure that the next stimulus package includes tens of billions of dollars in rental assistance and support for affordable housing providers, to prevent creating a financial cliff that renters will fall off of when eviction moratoria are lifted, and to ensure the continued viability of our country's essential affordable housing infrastructure.
About NLIHC: Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, the National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that ensures people with the lowest income in the United States have affordable and decent homes.