Senator Collins Calls for Rental Assistance in COVID-19 Relief Legislation

In a September 17 letter to Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) called for the White House to include emergency rental assistance in any future COVID-19 relief legislation. Senator Collins is the first Senate Republican to so publicly call for emergency rental assistance.

Some economists estimate that renters already owe $25 billion in back rent and could owe as much as $70 billion when the CDC eviction moratorium expires at the end of the year. Senator Collins noted that small businesses, which are a critical source of affordable housing, make up about half of all rental property owners. According to the Census Bureau, individuals investors own nearly 23 million units in 17 million properties. The inability to pay rent and the subsequent lack of rental income is impacting mom-and-pop property owners, which leaves them at greater risk of foreclosure and bankruptcy.

Senator Collins asked the White House to urge Congress to prioritize coupling the eviction moratorium with rental assistance, stating, “Doing so will help keep people housed and be fairer to smaller property owners.”

Read the letter at: