House Democrats Introduce Updated Heroes Act

On September 29, House Democrats released a scaled down COVID-19 relief proposal, calling it an updated Heroes Act, with a price tag of $2.2 trillion. The bill is nearly $1 trillion less than the earlier version and includes new relief for the airline, restaurant and other hardest-hit industries, as well as additional funds to support education and childcare. Despite the lower price tag, negotiations between the House, White House and Senate are not progressing, and it seems unlikely that they will reach agreement to enact further large-scale relief before the election.

The new proposal does not include any LIHTC or Historic Credit provisions, which were also excluded from the original Heroes Act along with other “industry specific” tax credit provisions. Though the new Heroes bill does not include the full amount of housing resources proposed in the original, it would authorize substantial new funding for rental assistance.

A summary of key housing provisions is below:

  • $50 billion in emergency rental assistance (down from $100 billion in the original Heroes Act);
  • $21 billion to create a homeowner assistance fund (down from $75 billion in the original Heroes Act);
  • $5 billion in Community Development Block Grants;
  • $5 billion in Emergency Solutions Grants homelessness grants (down from $11.5 billion in the original Heroes Act);
  • $4 billion for Tenant Based Rental Assistance;
  • $2 billion for Public Housing Operating Fund;
  • $2 billion for CDFIs to respond to COVID in distressed communities;
  • $750 million in Project Based Rental Assistance;
  • $500 million for housing for the elderly;
  • $309 million in USDA rural rental assistance;
  • $45 million for housing for persons with disabilities (down from $200 million in the original Heroes Act); and
  • Extending and expanding the eviction moratorium and foreclosure moratorium in the CARES Act to include all renters and homeowners.