The President signed legislation over the weekend of December 26, 2020 on relief funding to aid the economic recovery as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The package includes $25 billion in emergency rental assistance that will be allocated to states, cities, and counties and a one month extension on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) national eviction moratorium.
The package also includes a new round of stimulus checks in the amount of $600 for individuals making under a certain income and an additional $600 per child, along with an extension on unemployment benefits for 11 weeks with an additional $300 per week. Notably absent from the package, however, is funding to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on people experiencing homelessness.
Additionally, Congress has included additional funding for emergency food assistance, for a Healthcare Provider Relief Fund, for emergency substance use and mental health treatment services, for testing, tracing, and vaccine distribution, and for the Small Business Administration – including additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program.
Although the inclusion of emergency rental assistance is a step forward, $25 billion will not be enough to cover all renters across the country who are struggling due to the pandemic – some reports estimate that at least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance is needed. We urge you to continue to call your representatives in Congress and tell them how important it is to include additional funding for rental assistance and funding for homelessness services in a supplemental relief package.
To find out how to contact your Congressional representative, visit LAHSA’s legislative affairs resource page, here.