|The House Financial Services Committee begins debate today on a coronavirus relief bill that includes $40 billion in assistance for renters, people who are homeless, and homeowners. It is critical that the Committee pass a bill that includes these critical resources and without any harmful changes.
Your representative, Frank Lucas, serves on the House Financial Services Committee. Please call your representative today and ask them to quickly vote to move the relief package forward and to support/oppose the following amendments:
- Any amendment to better target resources for rental assistance to the lowest-income and most marginalized people.
- Any amendment to increase resources for the lowest-income renters or people experiencing homelessness.
- Any amendment to ensure resources can more quickly reach households with the greatest needs.
- Any amendment that would reduce relief for renters and people experiencing homelessness.
- Any amendment that would create barriers and make it more difficult for households in need to receive assistance.
- Any amendment that prevents immigrant households from accessing critical aid.
Congress is moving quickly to pass a COVID-19 relief bill in the coming weeks. The Democratic leadership is moving ahead with a budget reconciliation process that allows Congress to pass a relief package with a simple majority of 51 votes in the Senate. After Congress approved a budget resolution that set the topline spending limit for a relief package, each committee is now quickly voting on individual spending bills for programs within their jurisdictions before they are combined into a full package for final votes. Congress and the White House are aiming to enact a new COVID relief bill by mid-March, when expanded unemployment benefits and other resources expire.
The House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) released last week a COVID-19 relief bill that would provide urgently needed resources for America’s lowest-income renters and people experiencing homelessness.
The bill provides $25 billion in rental assistance including: $19.05 billion for emergency rental assistance (ERA); $5 billion for emergency housing vouchers; $750 million for tribal housing needs; and $100 million for rural housing. The bill also provides $5 billion to assist people who are homeless with immediate and longer-term assistance, $9.96 billion for homeowner assistance, and $100 million for housing counseling. An additional $4.5 billion is provided in a separate bill for utility assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
If enacted, these investments will help prevent millions of low-income people from losing their homes during the pandemic and will provide cities and states with the resources they need to help people experiencing homelessness be safely housed during and after the pandemic.
Contact your representative and urge them to quickly enact a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package that includes essential relief for low-income renters and people experiencing homelessness.
Get the latest updates and learn more about needed advocacy by joining our weekly national call on Coronavirus, Disasters, Housing and Homelessness.
Thank you for your advocacy!