Haaland: Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act Will Help New Mexicans
Washington, D.C. – As New Mexicans face another month of rent during the pandemic, Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01) last night voted to pass the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act, a bill that directly addresses the needs of renters and homeowners who have been severely impacted by the pandemic. The bill passed the house with bipartisan support tonight.
In May, Haaland held a Telephone Town Hall on housing and responsible reopening. During the call, Haaland heard from constituents who are having trouble paying for rent and utilities and landlords who still must pay their mortgages without income provided from collecting rent. According to a June survey conducted by Apartment List, 32 percent of renters were unable to fully pay their rent at the beginning of June 2020, with 20 percent of renters being unable to make any payment at all. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the number of homeowners in forbearance reached 4.2 million as of June 14th. And, media reports show that evictions are moving forward for renters who are not protected by an eviction moratorium. Without further relief from Congress, the country will soon be facing a serious spike in evictions and rates of homelessness that will harm any economic recovery.
“Shelter is a necessity even when we’re not in a pandemic, but the cost of housing, limited working hours, and economic impacts of this public health emergency put many New Mexicans’ housing at risk. When I struggled to afford rent, I was lucky enough to rely on friends and family to help, but not everyone has that safety net. The Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act will help New Mexicans with rent and mortgage relief, pay utilities and provides more resources for those experiencing homelessness,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland.
The Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act includes targeted measures to help renters, landlords, homeowners and those experiencing homelessness that were included in the Heroes Act that passed in May.
Provisions to help renters and landlords:
- Extends the eviction moratorium to March 27, 2021, and expanding it to protect all renters;
- Provides $100 billion for an emergency rental assistance fund that would help renters cover their rent and utility bills, including any unpaid bills;
- Provides low cost loans for landlords through the Federal Reserve and expanding forbearance protections for all landlords;
- Provides additional funding for federal housing assistance programs to ensure rents remain affordable and housing is maintained in a safe and decent condition, including public housing, Section 8, rural housing programs, Section 202 Housing for the Elderly, and Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities
Help for Homeowners:
- Extends the foreclosure moratorium for 6 months from enactment, and expanding it to protect all homeowners;
- Expands forbearance relief to protect all homeowners, and ensuring that no borrower is forced to pay a lump sum at the end of a forbearance period;
- Provides $75 billion for a Homeowner Assistance Fund that would provide direct assistance for homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgage, property taxes, property insurance, and other housing related costs;
- Provides liquidity for mortgage servicers.
Help for people experiencing homelessness:
- Provides $11.5 billion for homeless assistance grants that will help ensure that people experiencing homelessness are able to follow social distancing guidance and have access to necessary services;
- Provides $1 billion for new Housing Choice Vouchers that would be targeted to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness and survivors of domestic violence.