Act now! Speaker Pelosi must hold firm on keeping emergency rental assistance in the latest stimulus proposal. - SV@Home

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Act now! Speaker Pelosi must hold firm on keeping emergency rental assistance in the latest stimulus proposal.

On May 12th Speaker Pelosi unveiled the HEROES Act, a stimulus proposal that included the “Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act.”  The Act, which was introduced by Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), chair of the House Financial Services Committee, Representative Denny Heck (D-WA), and 135 original cosponsors earlier in the week, would provide $100 billion in emergency rental assistance to avert a surge in evictions and homelessness during the coronavirus pandemic. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, will soon introduce companion legislation with 24 cosponsors (as of today) in the Senate.

Silicon Valley faced a housing crisis before the COVID-19 pandemic-triggered emergency. The emergency response measures put in place locally, such as eviction moratoria, rent freezes, and homeless prevention efforts, have been short-term measures that just move out the problem—eventually unpaid rent will be due. With increased job losses expected, and an uncertain recovery ahead, both landlords and tenants desperately need a federal commitment to emergency rental assistance.

The “Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act” would provide our local governments with the resources needed to provide direct support to the most vulnerable households to cover up to six months of back-rent, and the flexibility to respond to the ongoing impact of the emergency by providing short- and medium-term rental assistance and other housing support. The Act is designed to utilize existing homeless prevention program infrastructure to target this need quickly — with half of the funds to be allocated within 7 days.

To read more details about this legislation, click here.

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