House Financial Services Committee Republicans Pass Bill to Eliminate “CARES Act” 30-Day Eviction Notice Requirement

The U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Financial Services (HFSC) voted along party lines on April 17 to pass the “Respect State Housing Laws Act” (H.R.802), a bill that would eliminate the 30-day eviction notice requirement established in the bipartisan “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020.”

The “CARES Act” provision requires landlords and owners of federally assisted properties to provide a notice of at least 30 days to a tenant facing eviction for nonpayment of rent before removing the tenant from the property. The federal requirement gives households additional time to address outstanding issues and avoid eviction, or – if eviction is unavoidable – time to find a new place to live. Without sufficient notice, tenants struggle to find a new home, increasing their risk of homelessness and further housing instability post-eviction. The “Respect State Housing Laws Act” would remove this vital and basic protection for tenants. NLIHC strongly opposes the bill.

“I fail to see the difference between an employee who lost their job because they were impacted by the pandemic, and a person who loses their job today because their employer is downsizing as a result of the economy,” said Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) during a markup of the bill. “It is thanks to this policy approach that eviction rates are lower than they otherwise might be.” Ranking Member Waters pointed to HUD’s recent analysis showing that the 30-day notice reduces evictions for nonpayment of rent by an estimated 1,600 to 4,900 households annually.

“These aren’t just numbers,” continued the ranking member. “They represent families, children, and individuals who, because of this notice, can better avoid the risk of experiencing homelessness.”

The bill passed out of committee along a party line vote of 29-21. When a bill is passed out of committee, it is “recommended favorably” for consideration on the House floor. NLIHC will continue to monitor the bill for potential movement on the Hill and will alert our networks if advocacy is needed.