Congress reached a deal late last year on a relief package to aid the economic recovery as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The package, tied into the fiscal year 2021 funding bill, included $25 billion in emergency rental assistance that will be allocated to states, cities, and counties and an extension of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) national eviction moratorium until January 31, 2021.
The package also included 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 until March 14, 2021 with an additional $300 per week. Notably absent from the package, however, was funding to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on people experiencing homelessness.
Additionally, Congress included additional funding for emergency food assistance, relief funding for healthcare providers, emergency substance use and mental health treatment services, COVID testing, tracing, and vaccine distribution, and additional funding 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, along with an extension of the national eviction moratorium.
To find out how to contact your Congressional representative, visit LAHSA’s legislative affairs resource page, here.