Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) sent a letter signed by 44 House Democrats to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on August 31. The letter called for the secretaries to use their existing authority to instate eviction moratoriums in housing covered by HUD, Treasury, or the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and urged the secretaries to deploy additional federal funding or policies to protect renters from eviction.
“Evictions risk lives, drive families deeper into poverty, further burden overstretched health care systems, and make it much more difficult for the country to contain the coronavirus,” the letter states. In Representative Bonamici’s press release, NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel reinforced the necessity of federal intervention to prevent the predicted mass wave of evictions, stating “[it] is reckless and irresponsible for the administration to walk away from negotiations at a time when millions of renters are struggling to keep their homes and, with it, their ability to keep themselves and their families safe. President Trump and Congress must restart negotiations immediately and enact a robust relief package to address the urgent housing and health needs of America’s lowest-income renters and people experiencing homelessness. In the meantime, the Trump administration should use every authority they have to ensure that no one is kicked out of their home during a pandemic.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order on September 1 declaring a temporary national moratorium on all evictions related to nonpayment of rent or other fees. While the moratorium is an essential step, in the absence of additional federal funding for rental assistance it is a half-measure that delays evictions rather than preventing them. NLIHC will continue to work with our partners and other advocates to push Congress to enact a coronavirus relief package with at least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance. With a national eviction moratorium, this assistance would ensure renters are able to remain stably housed and small landlords are able to pay their bills and maintain their properties throughout the duration of the pandemic and beyond.
Read Representative Bonamici’s letter at: https://tinyurl.com/y3eps7x3
Learn more about the CDC’s national eviction moratorium at: https://tinyurl.com/y5rdv4vy