A heartening update from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition:
This evening, President-elected Biden released his $1.9 trillion legislative proposal for a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package, including essential resources and protections for America’s lowest-income renters and people experiencing homelessness.
President-elect Biden calls for:
- An extension of the federal eviction moratorium through September 2021;
- $30 billion in emergency rental and utility assistance;
- $1,400 stimulus checks; and
- $5 billion to address the health and housing needs of people experiencing homelessness.
Additionally, the Biden proposal would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, further expand unemployment benefits, provide a 15% increase in food assistance (SNAP), increase the Child Tax Credit, and much more.
These resources and protections are urgently needed and should be enacted as quickly as possible, along with additional needed resources to ensure housing stability for low-income renters and people experiencing homelessness. See NLIHC’s top priorities for the next COVID-19 relief package.
Beyond urging Congress to extend an eviction moratorium, President-elect Biden must issue an executive order on his first day in office to extend, strengthen, and enforce the current federal eviction moratorium, which expires on January 31.
In addition to the housing and homelessness resources in President-elect Biden’s proposal, Congress must provide:
- $28 billion for 500,000 new Housing Choice Vouchers for continued housing stability for households with the greatest needs;
- Legal aid resources and other renter protections to help renters avoid evictions;
- An additional $3 billion in Emergency Solutions Grants to help prevent and respond to outbreaks among people experiencing homelessness and to provide stabilization and needed services; and
- $44 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund to help communities provide homeless individuals currently living in hotels and motels with an exit solution through permanent supportive housing, rather than allowing them to return to homelessness.
After Congress and the White House enact the next COVID-19 relief bill, they must quickly turn their attention to a larger stimulus and infrastructure package. To address needed structural reforms and provide longer-term housing stability, Congress should:
- Provide universal housing vouchers to all eligible renters – a core element of President-elect Biden’s housing platform;
- Expand the housing supply for people with the greatest needs through investments in the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) and public housing;
- Prevent evictions through the creation of a permanent National Housing Stabilization Fund that incorporates best practices and lessons learned from the use of emergency rental assistance during the pandemic; and
- Protect renters through a national right to counsel, “just-cause” eviction protections, and the expansion and enforcement of the Fair Housing Act.