The House passed the “Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020” (H.R. 7301) by a vote of 232-180 on the afternoon of June 29. Introduced by Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) on May 24, the bill proposes almost $200 billion in additional funding for housing and homelessness programs to help communities address the needs of low-income renters, homeowners, and people experiencing homelessness. The provisions included in this bill are derived directly from the “HEROES Act,” the $3 trillion pandemic relief bill passed by the House 45 days earlier. Key provisions include NLIHC’s top priorities: $100 billion in emergency rental assistance; $11.5 billion in additional funding to prevent and respond to coronavirus outbreaks among people experiencing homelessness; a national, uniform moratorium on evictions and foreclosures; and additional resources to ensure housing stability.
The Senate has refused to act on any significant COVID-19 related legislation since the passage of the “HEROES Act,” and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has indicated they will not take up any legislation until late July. In response to this inaction, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calling for immediate bipartisan negotiations on new pandemic relief legislation to address a variety of urgent needs, including the needs of renters.
Before the bill was passed, the House voted on a motion introduced by Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-MI) to recommit the bill back to the House Financial Services Committee. The instructions included provisions to deny assistance to undocumented people, eliminate the restriction on HUD homeless assistance funds barring pre-requisites or treatment as a condition of receiving assistance, add zoning provisions from a previously considered bipartisan bill, and change HUD’s definition of homelessness to match that of the Department of Education. This motion was defeated by a vote of 191-219.
This proposal is an important step forward, but more work lies ahead. NLIHC urges advocates to continue contacting their members of Congress and asking them to support robust housing resources and protections in a final relief package.
Urge your senators to bring H.R. 7301 up for a vote through NLIHC’s Legislative Action Center: https://tinyurl.com/ya3ypa4b
Show your organization’s support for the “Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020” at: https://tinyurl.com/ya64x6sa
View the full text of H.R. 7301 at: https://tinyurl.com/y86z5ugd
Read House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) here: https://tinyurl.com/y8hjqo2x