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Committee Republicans Introduce Legislation to Protect Renters from Eviction


Committee Republicans Introduce Legislation to Protect Renters from Eviction


Addresses Democrat mismanagement of Emergency Rental Assistance Programs



Washington,
June 16, 2021 
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The top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry (NC-10), led all Committee Republicans in introducing the Renter Protection Act. This legislation protects renters who could face eviction when the national eviction moratorium expires this month by consolidating COVID-related Emergency Rental Assistance programs and quickly disbursing the aid. As Ranking Member McHenry stated at last week’s Committee hearing, the Biden Administration has mismanaged emergency rental assistance and Republicans are taking action to address this failure and ensure American families stay in their homes.


“As the federal eviction moratorium comes to an end, Committee Republicans are taking action to protect American families from losing their homes,” said Republican Leader McHenry. “Our legislation will end the Biden Administration’s gross mismanagement of the emergency rental assistance, get the money out the door quickly, and make sure that all $46 billion is used to repay back-rent debts. While Democrats are preoccupied with advancing their partisan agenda, Republicans know that COVID-impacted renters can no longer wait for the assistance Congress voted to provide them. The Renter Protection Act is a commonsense solution to address this avoidable crisis now, before it’s too late.”


Republican Leader McHenry also sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office, urging them to audit the emergency rental assistance programs. This will help Congress better understand the scope of the Biden Administration’s mismanagement of the programs and what changes may be necessary to ensure relief reaches American families facing hardship. Read the full text of the letter here.


Background:




  • Transfers all remaining March 2021 ERA program funds, which Treasury has still failed to allocate to cities and states, into the original, bipartisan December 2020 ERA program and requires Treasury to disburse the funds within 30 days.
  • Requires that cities and states with any unused ERA money after July 1st use those funds exclusively to pay off the back-rent debts of COVID-impacted eligible households, as Congress originally intended.
  • Reinstates the original December 31, 2021 deadline for cities and states to distribute all ERA funds to COVID-impacted eligible households to make sure this assistance immediately benefits individuals with back-rent due to the pandemic.

These commonsense reforms will ensure that the $46.55 billion in Emergency Rental Assistance money is used to pay off any outstanding back rent and remove the threat of eviction from COVID-impacted renters. The Renter Protection Act of 2021 will also make it easier for cities and states to operate their local ERA programs, so every dollar of rental assistance is used to help eligible families in need and can be accounted for.


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