To date, the multifamily industry has received little assistance from Washington, DC, even as 30 million people have been thrown into unemployment over the last six weeks. While the majority of renters paid their April rents, it is widely believed that fewer will be able to meet their monthly rent obligation for May.
A bill that will be introduced in the Senate could provide relief to both tenants and their landlords.
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is planning to introduce the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act, a $100 billion measure that would provide emergency rental assistance to help people pay their rent during and after this pandemic, according to a Tweet he posted Monday.
“We cannot leave behind the millions of Americans who could be facing eviction without #RentReliefNow. The last thing we want during a public health crisis is people being forced out of their homes and onto the Streets,” he tweeted.
A similar measure is being sponsored in the House of Representatives, by Maxine Waters of California and Washington’s Denny Heck.
“Housing is the single largest expense for most American families. By a long shot,” Heck says in prepared remarks. “Right now, those same families are facing job loss, struggling with child care, and dealing with other unprecedented financial burdens stemming from the global COVID-19 crisis – and many are unable to make next month’s rent. We have to get meaningful help to them as soon as we possibly can.”
According to Forbes, state and local governments will disperse the funds through partnerships with housing agencies and community organizations, providing housing relief for up to two years. The payments will be made directly to the property owner or housing provider on behalf of renters.
Under Brown’s measure, the funds would be disbursed through the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Emergency Solutions Grant network, according to Ohio City Beat.
HUD will be directed to spend 40% of the money on families making extremely low incomes (less than 30 percent of the Area Median Income).
It will be a long slog to get these measures through Congress and onto President Trump’s desk, given the re-emerging partisan hostilities in official Washington. But with the eviction moratoriums provided under the Cares Act lifting in September, the demand for assistance will become overwhelming.