NHC has been busy engaging with our members and partners to work to protect our housing economy, as well as homeowners and renters from housing insecurity throughout the COVID-19 national emergency. Learn about what we’ve been up to.
Consolidated COVID-19 Web Portal
NHC joined a coalition of housing and consumer advocacy organizations to call for federal officials to create a consolidated consumer-facing COVID-19 web portal to provide information to consumers on mortgage and rental relief options available under the CARES Act and subsequent legislative and administrative actions in effect during COVID-19.
Renters and homeowners already face a great deal of uncertainty and need to easily access information on federal mortgage and relief options. The letter points out that “a single point of entry for consumers specifically focused on housing, integrated into the www.coronavirus.gov platform and prominently displayed on the landing page, could serve as the primary vehicle for the dissemination of up-to-date and accurate information for renters and homeowners.”
The initiative was led by Barry Zigas, senior fellow at the Consumer Federation of America and former NHC Board of Governors member.
Emergency Rental Assistance
NHC and over 30 housing industry organizations joined together to call for congressional leaders to include emergency rental assistance in the next COVID-19 stimulus package to support the millions of American households who are threatened with severe housing instability due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group proposed principles that emergency rental assistance legislation should incorporate:
1) The funding must be sufficient to ensure that everyone who is impacted by COVID-19 does not lose their rental home due to a pandemic that is beyond their control or fall so far behind on rent that they face an increased likelihood of being evicted down the road.
2) Furthermore, we agree that the disbursement of these funds should provide for the maximum amount of flexibility at the state and local level with no match requirement to ensure that assistance is provided as quickly and efficiently as possible. The disbursement method(s) should utilize proven housing programs with the capacity to adapt and adjust to the nature and volume of funding. It should also ensure that:
a) Rental assistance be made available to deploy either as tenant-based or project-based;
b) Funds be disbursed to preserve housing stability and prevent homelessness for all renters in need across all rental housing types in urban, rural and tribal areas.
c) Rental assistance only be used at the property for future rent payments, unpaid rent arrearages, and to a limited extent, utility payments and unforeseen operating costs associated with responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Calling for a Hault to Rulemaking Outside of COVID-19:
NHC led a diverse group of housing organizations to call for federal regulatory agencies to temporarily suspend housing-related rulemaking procedures that are unrelated to our nation’s response to the health and economic ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the letter here.
Other Initiatives We Support:
- Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act – NHC recently signed onto the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s letter to urge Congress to include the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act in any comprehensive coronavirus relief package. This bill introduced by Senator Brown (D-OH) and Representatives Heck (D-WA) and Waters (D-CA) would provide $100 billion in emergency rental assistance. Learn more and add your organization here.
- Housing Assistance Fund – Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced a $75 billion Housing Assistance Fund to support Americans facing housing insecurity. The fund would build off of the success of the Hardest Hit Fund, which the senators championed in 2010. NHC joined a coalition of housing advocates to support the legislation.
- Low Income Housing Tax Credit provisions in next COVID-19 relief package – As part of the A Call To Invest in Our Neighborhoods (ACTION) Campaign, NHC joined over 2,300 national, state and local affordable housing stakeholders to urge Congress to enact policies to help mitigate the damage to affordable housing production. Read the letter here.