Senate Republicans unveiled on August 18 a revised coronavirus relief proposal containing fewer resources than their initially proposed “HEALS Act.” Yet to be formally released, the so-called “skinny bill” cuts the already inadequate $3.3 billion in housing resources included in the “HEALS Act” and provides neither eviction protections for renters nor additional funding for housing and homelessness.
The almost $500 billion proposal includes funding to extend unemployment insurance benefits at $300 per week and funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, U.S. Postal Service, and health and education, but provides no funding for rental assistance or homeless services. While expanded unemployment benefits have undoubtedly helped stave off evictions for some, the proposed extension is woefully inadequate to meet the level of need, and unemployment insurance is not an ideal mechanism for delivering rental assistance.
Without immediate intervention, an estimated 30 million to 40 million people will be at risk of losing their homes in the middle of a pandemic. Congress can prevent the 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 $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 revised proposal at: https://tinyurl.com/y49kpgv7