The Senate voted September 10 on a revised and woefully inadequate coronavirus relief proposal. The bill contained fewer resources than the initially proposed “HEALS Act” and no resources for housing and homelessness. The final vote on the so-called “skinny bill” was 52-47, falling almost completely along party lines and failing to garner the 60 votes necessary to pass the Senate.
The approximately $650 billion proposed bill featured a $300 per week temporary expansion of unemployment benefits; monetary incentives to push schools to reopen for in-person classes; and additional funding for the postal service, vaccine development, and contact tracing. However, the bill failed to deliver any funding for much-needed rental assistance, homelessness services, food assistance, or assistance to state and local governments. While expanded unemployment benefits undoubtedly helped stave off evictions for some, the proposed extension is woefully inadequate to meet the level of need.
Without federal assistance, an estimated 30 million to 40 million people in up to 17 million households will be at risk of losing their homes when the federal eviction moratorium ends on December 31. Congress must act to prevent this impending tsunami of evictions and assist individuals experiencing homelessness by enacting a relief bill that includes NLIHC’s top priorities: a uniform, national moratorium on all evictions for nonpayment of rent for the duration of the public health emergency; at least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance through the “Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act” and housing vouchers; and $11.5 billion for homeless shelter service providers to respond to and prevent coronavirus outbreaks among people experiencing homelessness.
Read NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel’s statement on the vote at: https://tinyurl.com/y59mdwbk
Read NLIHC’s list of priorities for the next relief package at: https://tinyurl.com/y27gm35p