NLIHC state and local partners mobilized for a nationwide advocacy effort on July 21 in response to Congressional consideration of the next coronavirus relief package. Housing advocates across the country participated in more than 80 virtual meetings with their senators and representatives, emphasizing NLIHC’s legislative priorities including $100 billion in emergency rental assistance, $11.5 billion in emergency solutions grant (ESG) funding, and a comprehensive, nationwide eviction moratorium. The virtual meetings yielded positive results: many members expressed support for these #RentReliefNow priorities and a willingness to speak to congressional leadership about the importance including them in any final coronavirus relief package.
At 84 virtual meetings with 72 distinct congressional offices, advocates warned members of Congress and staff about the forthcoming tsunami of evictions, calling for urgent congressional action. NLIHC organizers encouraged partners to prioritize meetings with Senate Republicans, who have been unwilling to move quickly to provide relief to those impacted by the pandemic, including low-income renters and people experiencing homelessness. Advocates met with 38 Republican offices, including 22 Senate Republican offices.
Most congressional offices acknowledged the severity of the nation’s current housing crisis, with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle clear about the burden faced by low-income renters throughout the country. Too many Republican members of Congress, however, have yet to voice support for robust resources and protections for low-income renters and people experiencing homelessness. NLIHC urges advocates to continue pushing lawmakers to include these housing provisions in the next coronavirus relief package before members leave for August recess.