Yesterday, House Democrats released their $3 trillion Phase 4 COVID-19 relief legislation, the Heroes Act (see the
). House leadership is currently aiming to pass the bill on Friday, May 15. The legislation may face heightened scrutiny in the Republican-controlled Senate.
It is unclear how Senate Majority Leader McConnell will move forward on negotiations.
The Senate is more likely to develop their own legislation. If that happens the two versions would need to be reconciled. Senate Republicans are already developing their list of priorities for future legislation.
The legislation proposes substantial resources and policy provisions related to housing, including:
- $100 billion for a new Emergency Rental Assistance program, based off of the Emergency Solutions Grant framework, to assist renters who are unable to attain or maintain housing stability (see summary here)
- $75 billion to create a Homeowners Assistance Fund at the state, local, and tribal level to help homeowners with mortgage payments, insurance, property taxes, and other costs
- $11.5 billion in Homeless Assistance Grants
- $10 billion for Housing Choice Vouchers for people experience or at risk of homelessness and survivors of domestic violence
- $5 billion in Community Development Block Grants
- $4 billion in Tenant Based Rental Assistance
- $2 billion in Public Housing Operating funding
- $1.2 billion to provide staffing, services and other resources for Section 202 properties, plus $500 million in additional funding for elderly housing
- $1 billion for Community Development Financial Institutions to respond to the COVID-19 impact in distressed communities
- $750 million in Project-Based Rental Assistance
- $700 million for rural rental assistance
- $200 million for housing for persons with disabilities
- $375 billion for local relief
- An expansion of federally-backed mortgage forbearance to include all multifamily mortgages, regardless of federal backing
- An extension and expansion of the eviction moratorium for 12 months
- Bankruptcy protections for homeowners
The package also includes an extension of unemployment compensation, additional state and local funding, expansion of the employer retention credit, expansion of the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program, pension and retirement relief, additional direct payments and tax credits to individuals and families as well as other tax relief for teachers, first responders and COVID-19 front-line workers.
NALHFA has been advocating for direct support of a variety of housing programs including the $100 billion in rental assistance, homeowner protections, $5 billion in Community Development Block Grants and for funding directly for local municipalities, and will continue to advocate for its members during the development and implementation of further COVID-19 relief legislation.