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President Signs Coronavirus Package with Funding for Homelessness and Housing

Congress passed and President Trump signed into law a $2 trillion direct spending bill to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The bill passed out of the Senate the evening of March 25 on a unanimous vote, passed the House by voice vote March 27, and was signed into law by the president the same day.

The bill provides more than $12 billion in funding for HUD programs, including: $4 billion for Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) for homelessness assistance, $5 billion in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), $1.25 billion for the Housing Choice Voucher program, $1 billion for project based rental assistance, $685 million for public housing, $300 million for tribal nations, $65 million for Housing for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), $50 million for Section 202 Housing for the Elderly, and $15 million for Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities. The bill also institutes a much-needed temporary moratorium on evictions and foreclosures for homeowners and renters in federally subsidized apartments and homes with federally backed mortgages. NLIHC released a full analysis of the bill’s housing provisions.

This bill marks a significant victory for the NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) and our collective goal of ensuring people with the greatest needs – people experiencing homelessness and the lowest-income renters – are protected during this crisis. The final bill provides billions of dollars to help prevent the outbreak of the coronavirus among people experiencing homelessness, as well as critical resources for HUD housing providers to help cover their increased costs and to adjust rental assistance for households that see their incomes decline.

Upon enactment of the bill, NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel said, “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.”

A lot of work remains ahead as this crisis continues to unfold. NLIHC and the 850 organizational members of the DHRC will continue to push for the resources and policies needed to keep people experiencing homelessness safe and healthy and to ensure low-income renters are stably housed. A full list of DHRC’s policy recommendations is available at: https://bit.ly/3dtbwz3  

NLIHC’s full analysis of the bill is at: https://bit.ly/39krx78

Diane’s statement on the new law is at: https://bit.ly/39pR6ni

The bill text is at: https://bit.ly/33MkBhM