May 13, 2020


Heroes Act Includes Critical Housing Provisions, Relief for Consumers and More; Brown Urges Mitch McConnell to Bring Bill to Senate Floor Immediately

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, today applauded the House of Representatives for its Heroes Act, which includes several key priorities and much-needed relief for hardworking Americans, small businesses, and impacted communities. The Heroes Act provides housing assistance, critical consumer protections, and small business relief.

Brown urged Sen. Mitch McConnell to bring this bill to the Senate floor for a vote immediately. While the Majority Leader said earlier this week that Senate Republicans have “yet to feel the urgency of acting immediately,” Americans are struggling to pay their rent, and communities across the country have been impacted by the economic fallout of this crisis. This crisis is urgent, and workers and small businesses need further relief now.

“We need to move quickly to get additional resources and assistance to workers, families, and small businesses. This bill includes key consumer protections and housing assistance which will go a long way to ensure that people can stay safely housed and protected from bad actors in our financial system,” said Senator Brown. “We should vote immediately on this package so that workers and the American economy can rebuild and recover after this public health crisis ends.”

Brown successfully secured critical assistance for Americans in previous relief bills, and he vowed to continue fighting for more, as families and communities continue to suffer from the effects of this pandemic. The Heroes Act includes many of Ranking Member Brown’s priorities including  housing assistance, relief for small businesses, and key consumer protections including:

·        Housing assistance and protections: The bill would help struggling families afford a safe place to live with $175 billion in new supports to assist renters and homeowners in making monthly rent, mortgage, and utility payments as well as other housing-related costs and provides additional help for assisted housing and homeless service providers.

o   Brown has been working to ensure renters and homeowners can remain housed during this crisis.

o   The bill also expands protections for homeowners and eviction protections for renters.

·        Increased small business assistance: The bill would strengthen the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) to ensure it reaches underserved communities and non-profits, and provides $10 billion for COVID-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. The bill also provides $1 billion in supplemental funding for Community Development Financial Institutions to support lending in underserved communities.  

o   Brown supported efforts in the last interim spending bill to increase funding for the PPP and EIDL programs. Brown has also pushed the administration to improve how it administers these programs to ensure there are fewer delays.

·        Protections for people’s credit scores: The bill would also protect people’s credit scores during the pandemic. As some families struggle with job losses or reduced incomes, they may fall behind in paying their bills. These late payments could hurt their credit for years and hold them back from accessing credit, taking out a mortgage, applying for a job, or renting an apartment long after the crisis is over. Brown introduced a bill with Sen. Schatz to do this.

·        Consumer protections against debt collection: The bill would protect consumers and small business that are struggling to make their payments during the Covid-19 pandemic or other national disaster or emergency.

o   The bill also includes critical consumer protections to prevent the garnishment of CARES Act stimulus payments.