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As Americans Continue to Struggle to Pay Rent During Pandemic Crisis, Waters and Heck Continues to Push for Emergency Rental Assistance

Following the release of data on the number of American renters who were unable to pay rent for the month of June, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, and Congressman Denny Heck (D-WA) issued the following statement.

“It is very clear that Congress must take immediate action to prevent an impending eviction crisis. Analysis released by Apartment List shows that 30 percent of renters were not able pay their rent for June,” said Chairwoman Waters. “In order to provide emergency rental assistance for America’s renters, House Democrats passed the Heroes Act last month, which includes legislation authored by me and Representative Heck to create an $100 billion emergency rental assistance fund. But since the House passed that legislation, the Senate has done nothing to help struggling families, and Mitch McConnell has indicated that he sees no urgency to pass another COVID-19 relief bill. The time to act is now, before millions face eviction. The Senate must pass the Heroes Act.”

“Another due date for rent payments has passed while many Americans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic find themselves unable to pay,” said Congressman Heck. “It is essential to our national recovery that Americans are able to stay in their homes, and the $100 billion emergency rental assistance is a comprehensive approach now supported by a diverse national coalition of 640 organizations. While the Senate has stalled on the Heroes Act and my rental assistance provision, millions of Americans are struggling to make rent.”

The Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act would authorize $100 billion for an Emergency Rental Assistance program to help families and individuals pay their rent and utility bills and remain stably housed during and after the COVID-19 crisis.

See here for a one-pager on the bill.

Chairwoman Waters’ March proposal for a comprehensive policy and stimulus response to the COVID-19 crisis included the Heck-Waters proposal to create a $100 billion emergency rental assistance fund.

The legislation has 131 House cosponsors. The bill is supported by over 600 organizations, including the National Alliance to End Homelessness, National Low Income Housing Coalition, Up for Growth, National League of Cities, US Conference of Mayors, Mayors and CEOs for US Housing Investment, National Association of Counties, NAACP, Children’s HealthWatch, Catholic Charities USA, National Council of State Housing Agencies, National Community Action Partnership, Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, National Housing Law Project, National Fair Housing Alliance, National NeighborWorks Association, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Enterprise Community Partners, Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future, Housing Partnership Network, National Housing Trust, National Housing Conference, National Community Development Association, National Coalition for Community Reinvestment, LeadingAge, Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Housing Task Force, Coalition on Human Need, National LGBTQ Taskforce Action Fund, National Resource Center for Domestic Violence, National Education Association, Oxfam America, and Matthew Desmond, Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology Princeton University and Principal Investigator of the Eviction Lab.


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