Brown Calls On His Colleagues To Pass Rental Assistance And Provide Relief For Millions Of Renters And Homeowners
Senator Brown Again Took To The Floor To Demand Action For The Millions Of People Struggling To Pay Their Rent And Bills Or At Risk Of Losing Their Homes Brown Called On His Colleagues To Not Let This Public Health Crisis Turn Into An Housing Crisis
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs today continued his push for emergency rental assistance to help the millions of people struggling to pay their rent or at risk of losing their homes.
“The House passed the HEROES Act nearly two months ago. That would have eliminated these cliffs, provided $100 billion in emergency rental assistance, and given families some peace of mind,” said, Senator Brown. “But that bill has been on the Majority Leader’s desk collecting dust since May. And for millions of families, the bills keep coming and the clock keeps ticking and the stress keeps mounting.”
Senator Brown has made it a priority to ensure families and individuals can stay in their homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He recently joined Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Congressman Denny Heck (D-WA) in introducing the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act of 2020, legislation that would authorize $100 billion for an emergency rental assistance program to help renters stay housed during and after the pandemic. He is also a cosponsor of Senator Warren’s (D-MA) Protecting Renters from Eviction And Fees Act which would extend federal eviction moratoriums to March 27, 2021, one year after the date of enactment of the CARES Act, and expands the moratorium to cover substantially all renters. Senator Brown also joined Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) in introducing the Coronavirus Housing Counseling Improvement Act to provide $700 million in funding for housing counselors to help homeowners and renters navigate their housing options and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) in proposing a $75 billion Housing Assistance Fund to help homeowners stay in their homes. Brown will continue his fight to ensure more protections for renters and homeowners in future relief packages.
Brown’s remarks on the Senate Floor, as prepared for delivery, are below:
Tomorrow millions of families face a massive cliff – and they face another one in a week.
Right now, millions of Americans are in danger of losing their homes. In the CARES Act, we put a temporary moratorium on evictions and foreclosures for renters and homeowners in properties with a federally-backed loan, as well as for renters receiving federal assistance.
The rental eviction moratorium expires tomorrow.
The last thing we need in the middle of a public health crisis is families being turned out on the streets.
And we know that moratorium didn’t go nearly far enough – it only covered about 28 percent of renters.
We should be extending and expanding that moratorium, and passing my Emergency Rental Assistance bill, to get people through this pandemic – not kicking them out on the streets.
We already had a housing crisis in this country before the coronavirus hit.
Many of the professions we’re now recognizing as “essential” don’t pay enough to afford housing.
A quarter of all renters were paying half their incomes for housing, leaving them one emergency away from the bottom falling out from under them.
Now we’re seeing millions of people all have those emergencies at once.
They’re facing impossible choices – between rent and groceries, or prescriptions, or draining their savings, or going to a payday lender.
More than 40 percent of Black and Latinx renters report that they’re unlikely to be able to make their next payment.
And some people don’t have any choice at all – their only option is eviction.
Those evictions are already happening – in Columbus, they’ve turned the convention center into an eviction court.
And more eviction filings will be coming if we do nothing.
For all of those renters who had been protected from eviction by the CARES Act, back rent will suddenly be due. The same goes for the millions who aren’t protected under the CARES Act, but got relief from a temporary state or local moratorium or court closure.
And on top of all of that, at the end of next week, the additional $600 a week in UI benefits expires.
We know that UI didn’t cover everyone or every expense, but for many people, that $600 was the difference between being able to pay the bills, and skipping meals, or draining their savings, or having to turn to a payday lender.
I thank my colleague Senator Wyden for all of his leadership to stop families from going over that cliff, and make sure workers continue to get the UI that they - and the economy - are relying upon.
We need to extend that assistance to help families afford their food and prescriptions, and to provide Emergency Rental Assistance to keep a roof over their head.
This problem isn’t some distant cliff. This starts tomorrow.
But what is President Trump and Leader McConnell’s response?
Because of the president’s failures, this crisis is not getting any better. The virus continues to spread, people continue to die, small businesses continue to suffer.
Why would we let up on the relief people need now?
The work we do in this body to get help to people can’t make up for the lack of leadership from the White House – but it can mitigate some of the damage.
The House passed the HEROES Act nearly two months ago. That would have eliminated these cliffs, provided $100 billion in emergency rental assistance, and given families some peace of mind.
But that bill has been on the Majority Leader’s desk collecting dust since May.
And for millions of families, the bills keep coming and the clock keeps ticking and the stress keeps mounting.
People are tired of the lack of action and the lack of accountability.
They’re tired of being betrayed by the leader who is supposed to look out for them.
They’re tired of feeling like no one is on their side.
We’re supposed to be the greatest country on earth – we should act like it. The American people should not have to fend for themselves in the middle of a once-in-a-generation crisis.
It’s time to lead where the president has failed. It’s time for Leader McConnell to let us do our jobs. It’s time to keep families from losing their homes.
Next Article Previous Article