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Waters Introduces Legislation to Extend Federal Eviction Moratorium to Keep Families Housed

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, released a statement following the introduction of her legislation, the “Protecting Renters from Evictions Act, of 2021,” that would extend the eviction moratorium through the end of the year.

“The current eviction moratorium expires in two days, on July 31, putting millions of people at great risk of eviction and homelessness. In one of the wealthiest countries in the world, this is unacceptable. Even before the pandemic, more than 580,000 people are experiencing homelessness on any given night, and 10.5 million households were paying more than 50 percent of their income on rent.

“Today, I introduced H.R. 4791, the “Protecting Renters from Evictions Act, of 2021,” which would extend the eviction moratorium until December 31, 2021. According to a Supreme Court opinion written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the eviction moratorium can only be extended by Congress and this legislation will do just that. Extending the moratorium until the end of the year is the right thing to do to prevent increases in homelessness and the spread of the coronavirus, while states and communities work to distribute the $46.6 billion in emergency rental assistance provided by Congress.

“While Congress appropriated funding for emergency rental assistance, it is now up to state and local governments to expedite the distribution of this relief. However, these funds have been slow to get out. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, only $3 billion in emergency rental relief reached households by the end of June. Our efforts to provide emergency rental assistance will prove meaningless if families are evicted before receiving relief. We must also recognize the reality that, unlike big corporate landlords that often have reserves to fall back on, small mom-and-pop landlords depend on rent to cover their monthly mortgage payments and other costs.

“We are working very hard to get support for the legislation in order to extend the eviction moratorium. So, I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 4791 and keep families in their homes. It is incumbent upon us to protect the more than 11.4 million people struggling to pay their rent.”

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