Reed: Extending Eviction Moratorium Through June Will Help Keep Communities Safe & Give States Time to Effectively Deploy Federal Rental Assistance to Tenants & Landlords
PROVIDENCE, RI – Today, after the Biden Administration announced that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is extending the eviction moratorium to prevent the eviction of tenants who are unable to make rental payments in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) welcomed the announcement as a needed step to protect public health and allow for a more effective use of U.S. tax dollars to help keep people in their homes now and strengthen the economy.
The moratorium, which was scheduled to expire on March 31, 2021, is now extended through June 30, 2021.
Senator Reed is a senior member of both the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, and the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees federal housing investments. Reed urged the Biden Administration to extend the eviction moratorium to prevent people from being forced out of their homes just days or weeks before federal COVID-19 relief arrived. Senator Reed authored and supported key housing-related provisions in the most recent COVID-19 relief packages enacted into law.
“This is good news for renters, communities, and public health. Everyone wishes the pandemic was over and done with, but the virus isn’t quite done with us yet. So we’ve got to continue taking smart, proactive action to save lives and communities. Help is on the way, but states need time to effectively deploy the federal funds they just received. Extending the eviction moratorium through June will give states room to ensure rental assistance is administered swiftly, equitably, and with the accountability needed to protect renters, landlords, and taxpayers alike,” said Senator Reed.
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), also known as the ‘coronabus’ law, that was signed in December contained $25 billion in rental and utility assistance for renters, similar to Reed’s Housing Assistance Fund legislation (S. 3620). The law included $200 million in emergency rental assistance for Rhode Island in the COVID-19 relief section of the bill. RIHousing will soon launch a program to begin putting this money to work helping tenants and landlords who have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Interested tenants and landlords may sign up now to receive email alerts for when the application process opens: https://www.rihousing.com/rentreliefri
Additionally, the American Rescue Plan provides another $45 billion in rental and utility assistance and mortgage relief to millions of tenants and homeowners who are in danger of being thrown out of their homes and onto the street. This includes Senator Reed’s $10 billion Homeowner Assistance Fund initiative, with an estimated $200 million in rent relief, mortgage relief, and homelessness prevention funding for Rhode Island. But as with the initial pot of rental assistance in the CRRSA, it takes states time to put programs in place to effectively get the money where it is needed and ensure there are built in safeguards and accounting, auditing, transparency, and fraud prevention mechanisms.
Since December, Senator Reed has helped direct over $450 million in federal housing funding to Rhode Island, including rental assistance, foreclosure prevention and housing counseling funds, and utility assistance.
“The federal funds are finally there, but they won’t be as effective as they should if thousands of families are already forced out on the streets or into crowded living situations. A safe, stable home is one of the best forms of PPE. We’ve got to keep people housed as we deploy these funds and work to find sustainable solutions to address the housing crisis,” said Reed.