Both the House and Senate have passed budget resolutions on a party line vote, leading the way for Democrats to move President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package, the “American Rescue Plan.” While the Senate is focused on the impeachment trial, House Committees have begun working to draft legislation within their respective purviews that largely stays within the bounds of the President’s stimulus plan. As previously reported, many provisions of importance to the multifamily industry are on the table, including additional rental assistance funds, extended unemployment benefits, stimulus checks and a number of tax provisions.
As members of Congress have worked to shape the latest iteration of legislation, NMHC has weighed in to ensure our industry’s priorities are heard. Specifically, we spearheaded an industry coalition letter this week in support of the $25 billion in Emergency Rental Assistance contained in S.Con.Res.5, the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2021, the “Budget Resolution.”
While the recent federal COVID-19 relief package was a life preserver for the countless Americans facing financial hardship, the reach of these funds is far narrower than the scope of the CDC eviction order, both in terms of statutory income requirements and scale of aid necessary. It is particularly problematic that numerous jurisdictions are crafting rental assistance programs that far too narrowly constrain recipient eligibility in a way that seriously limits the utility of federal assistance funds. Together, thousands of housing providers and their residents will be left without aid under eviction moratoriums. In addition to the nearly $60 billion owed in back rent as detailed in a recent report by the Urban Institute, it also shows “the typical delinquent renter will be almost four months and $5,600 behind on their monthly rent and utilities.” Therefore, we strongly support the inclusion of additional rental assistance in the “Budget Resolution.”
Some continue to hope for a bipartisan solution on this next stimulus package and, while it is still too early to know how this will play out, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have vowed to pass legislation before the current extended unemployment measures expire on March 14. Notably, if Democrats chose to pass the stimulus package through the reconciliation process, the strict budget reconciliation rules will preclude several provisions included in the Biden package from being included, such as an extension of the eviction moratorium through September 2021.
NMHC and NAA will continue to be engaged as Congress considers this next stimulus package and to ensure that the additional assistance that is necessary for the industry is included.
- NMHC Leads Coalition Opposing Eviction Moratorium Provision in Proposed ERAP Legislation
- Real Estate Coalition Letter Opposing Eviction Moratorium in H.R. 5196
- Representing the Nation’s Apartment Industry, Chairman and CEO of Waterton, David Schwartz, Testifies Before the House Committee on Financial Services
- Supreme Court Blocks CDC Eviction Moratorium
- NMHC Joins Broad Coalition of Real Estate Organizations in Urging Congress to Focus on Housing Affordability