President Joe Biden recently unveiled his COVID-19 and economic recovery plan. Of interest to our members, the sweeping $1.9 trillion plan calls for another round of $1,400 stimulus payments to individuals, an eviction moratorium on federal guaranteed mortgages until September 30, 2021, an additional $30 billion for rental assistance ($5 billion of which is dedicated to home energy and water costs and arrears), $5 billion in emergency assistance to help secure housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
President Biden has been dividing his plans into two segments: rescue and recovery. The proposals laid out in the American Rescue Plan represent step one and the second step will be a Build Back Better Recovery Plan focused on job creation and combating the climate crisis.
In his remarks, he said the following regarding housing:
“As we work to keep people from going hungry, we will also work to keep a roof over their heads to stem the growing housing crisis in America. Approximately 14 million Americans have fallen behind on rent, many at risk of eviction.
If we don’t act now there will be a wave of evictions and foreclosures in the coming months as the pandemic rages on. This would overwhelm emergency shelters and increase COVID-19 infections as people have nowhere to go and can’t socially distance.
Next week we will take action to extend nationwide restrictions on evictions and foreclosures. This would provide more than 25 million Americans greater stability instead of living on the edge every single month.
And, I am asking Congress to do its part by funding rental assistance for 14 million hard-hit families and tenants. It will also be a bridge to economic recovery for countless mom and pop landlords.
These crises are straining the budgets of states, cities, and tribal communities that are forced to consider layoffs and service reductions. It means the people putting their lives at risk are the very people now at risk of losing their jobs.”
Regarding unemployment insurance he said, “$600 is simply not enough if you still have to choose between paying rent and putting food on the table.”
And in one of his final sentences he said, “we cannot let people get evicted.”