House Committee to Consider Housing Relief

Legislation | February 09, 2021 | by Linda Couch

Fund for rental and homeowner assistance, as well as homelessness prevention, in House Committee's COVID-19 relief package.

The February 5 House and Senate passage of budget resolutions kicked off what will be a fast several weeks of Hill activity on the next COVID-19 relief package. The respective budget resolutions include budget reconciliation instructions to authorizing committees. Each authorizing committee is now tasked with developing its share of a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. Congress is aiming to enact the package by mid-March when federal bump-ups to unemployment assistance end.

The House Committee on Financial Services and the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, the committees with jurisdiction over housing policy in their respective chambers, now must develop their own bills to achieve $75 billion in COVID-19 relief.

On February 8, the House Financial Services released its $75 billion draft bill. The bill includes significant relief for rental assistance, homeowner assistance, and homelessness prevention. The Senate Banking bill is expected to be released in the coming week.

The House Financial Services bill includes $19 billion for Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance program, $10 billion for a new Homeowner Assistance Fund to be administered by Treasury, $5 billion for emergency rental assistance vouchers for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, $100 million for emergency rental assistance for households assisted by USDA Rural Housing Service programs, and $750 million in HUD Indian Housing Block and Indian Community Development Block grants.

The draft bill does not include LeadingAge’s ask for $1.2 billion to support HUD-assisted senior housing communities, reiterated in this letter, through the pandemic.

The House Committee on Financial Services will vote on its bill on February 10.