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Waters: Trump Action Introduces Potential Criminal Penalties for Millions of Renters on Brink of Eviction

Chairwoman Continues Urgent Push for Emergency Rental Assistance

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, made the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s announcement regarding a temporary halt on some residential evictions.

“Instead of working with Democrats to pass the Heroes Act, the Trump Administration has resorted to threatening criminal penalties and even imprisonment for renters who want to take advantage of this so-called eviction moratorium that ultimately does nothing to actually prevent the growing wave of evictions across the country. The Administration’s announcement comes 37 days after the expiration of the CARES Act eviction moratorium and falls badly short of the action that is needed to protect families across the country who are struggling to make their rent payments through no fault of their own during the pandemic crisis.

“The order halts evictions for some families after a burdensome process, but millions of others who may still be facing hardship during this pandemic are excluded. For those renters who are eligible, the order needlessly forces struggling families to jump through hoops, including signing legal documents that could subject them to frivolous litigation, just to avoid being kicked out on the street. The order also allows renters to continue to face penalties and fees for nonpayment of rent, regardless of the financial hardship they may be facing during this crisis.

“Most importantly, without emergency rental assistance, millions of families will be faced with paying many months of accrued back rent in a lump sum, meaning that evictions are only being delayed, not prevented. That is why Democrats included $100 billion in funding for the creation of an emergency rental assistance fund in the Heroes Act, which we passed through the House 109 days ago. We also passed the housing provisions in the Heroes Act in my bill, the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act. Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are blocking that critical relief from being provided to families across the country.”


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