This article first appeared on National Apartment Association ~ NAAHQ.org
Dear NAA Members,
Earlier this evening, President-elect Biden revealed details of The American Rescue Plan, a sweeping COVID-19 relief package that includes several provisions of note for the rental housing industry. Of primary concern is a drastic federal eviction moratorium, to be in effect through September 30, 2021. On a positive note, the package also includes funding for $25 billion in rental assistance, $1,400 per-person stimulus checks for qualifying households and enhanced unemployment benefits.
The President-elect did recognize the millions of struggling mom-and-pop rental housing owners and operators and claimed that his proposals will also be an “economic bridge to recovery.” However, as the apartment industry well knows, some level of federal eviction moratorium has been in place for nearly a year and targeted, direct rental assistance did not arrive until nine months after the pandemic began. More help is needed, and it is needed now without an eviction moratorium attached.
While we applaud the Biden Administration for calling on Congress to pass further rental assistance, action must be taken immediately. We call upon Congress to enact additional rental assistance without delay, so that rental housing providers of all portfolio sizes may be made whole and can continue operations – keeping America’s 40 million renters safely housed while the pandemic continues to rage. Additionally, we urge Congress to avoid any extension of any eviction moratorium, which only cripples housing providers, hurts housing affordability and harms the very Americans it seeks to protect.
As always, NAA will continue aggressively advocating for policies that meet the unique needs of our industry. We welcome the opportunity to work with the Biden Administration and the 117th Congress to craft the most effective short- and long-term solutions to the housing crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to keep you apprised as we further digest President-elect Biden’s proposal.
Stay healthy and well,
Robert Pinnegar, CAE
President and CEO
National Apartment Association