WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a news conference call as he introduced legislation this week, the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act of 2020, to establish an Emergency Rental Assistance program to provide $100 billion in emergency rental assistance to help families and individuals pay their rent and avoid eviction during and after the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Renters are more likely to work in the hardest-hit sectors of our economy, including retail sales and hospitality. Without assistance, many renters will be under threat of eviction.
“This pandemic is yet another painful reminder of just how vulnerable millions of workers are to a single setback – whether it is losing your job, a broken-down car, or just being late on rent,” said Senator Brown. “Congress must act now to keep families in their homes. That’s why I introduced the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act of 2020 to ensure that renters remain safely and affordably housed during and after this crisis.”
Specifically, Brown’s bill would:
- Authorize $100 billion for an Emergency Rental Assistance program to help families and individuals pay their rent and utility bills and avoid eviction during and after the COVID-19 crisis, and
- Send funds to communities, states, and tribes through an existing federal temporary rental assistance program to facilitate the rapid distribution of funds to Ohioans.
Brown was joined on today’s call by Joel Ratner, President and CEO of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, to discuss the importance of rental assistance and helping workers who have been hurt by the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This bill is deeply responsive to the current situation. We know that many vulnerable residents in urban and suburban and even rural places who are renters have lost their jobs. Many of those who are unemployed are renters who are being forced to make difficult decisions. Without action as proposed in this bill many of these renters will be evicted. We should expect that this will result in a wave of evictions and homelessness that we are deeply unprepared for. In addition the repercussions of this tsunami of evictions will destroy places that are already fragile. The negative impacts for these places and these people will be massive. Only by taking strong action can this cycle of social destruction be avoided,” said Ratner.
More information about the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act of 2020 can be found here. The bill has been endorsed by a diverse list of housing, state and local government, child advocacy, faith, health care, women’s, civil rights, disability rights, and social welfare organizations. These groups include the National Alliance to End Homelessness, National Low Income Housing Coalition, Children's Defense Fund, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties, National Urban League, and National League of Cities.
Senator Brown has vowed to fight for more protections for renters who are disproportionally impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and has repeatedly called for more relief to be provided for renters and homeowners in Coronavirus relief packages. Brown has also advocated for support for assisted housing and homeless service providers as well as housing counseling to help renters and homeowners understand their options in this tumultuous time.