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Statement from NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel on Passage of the “Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act”

Washington, DC - With today's passage of H.R. 7301, the “Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020,” the House has taken an important step in responding to the urgent need to help struggling renters stay in their homes and to protect people experiencing homelessness during this pandemic. The legislation contains critically needed housing resources and protections included in the recently House-passed HEROES Act: $100 billion in emergency rental assistance; a national, uniform moratorium on evictions and foreclosures; $11.5 billion to prevent and respond to outbreaks among people experiencing homelessness; and additional resources needed to ensure housing stability for those most in need.

These critical resources and provisions are the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s top priorities for the next congressional coronavirus relief package. We commend House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters for their leadership on this bill to ensure that low-income renters—many of whom were already struggling before coronavirus—can remain stably housed during this pandemic and that people without homes can be protected.

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. 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.

This devastating public health crisis shows in dramatic relief that housing is healthcare, that people need to be stably housed to stay well and to stop the spread of the virus. Congress must respond with swift and bold action by passing the “Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020.”  NLIHC and our partners across the country will continue to push Congress to vote on this important legislation, to ensure these critically needed resources and provisions assist people with the greatest needs as rapidly as possible.