Representative Waters Releases Proposal for Coronavirus Assistance Package

House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) released the details of her legislative proposal to provide Coronavirus-related assistance on March 18. Chair Waters’ proposal includes many of the provisions outlined in NLIHC’s Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) recommendations to Congress, which are aimed at addressing the urgent housing and shelter needs of low-income people and people experiencing homelessness.

The proposal includes a national moratorium on evictions, foreclosures, and repossessions. It would suspend rental and utility payments for federally assisted renters. In addition, it provides for rent and utility payment assistance for renters who do not currently receive assistance. Representative Waters calls for $5 billion in additional funding for homelessness assistance, which would address the urgent shelter and medical needs of people experiencing homelessness. The bill provides $10 billion for the Community Development Block Grant program and $300 million for the Service Coordinator Grant program to fund service coordinators who support seniors and people with disabilities living in HUD-assisted housing.

In addition, the proposal suggests providing housing and homelessness service providers with the waivers and authorities they need to quickly utilize already appropriated federal funds and to modify certain requirements to ensure the health and safety of staff and residents. For example, waiving in-person inspection requirements and suspending work and community service requirements would help residents maintain social distancing directives without the fear of losing their housing. 

Chair Waters’ proposal is at: