$2.2T House stimulus package would ban evictions for 12 months

Bill faces headwinds from the Senate and White House

Senator Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Getty)
Senator Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Getty)

Many renters in the U.S. are protected from evictions through the end of the year, and a stimulus package that passed in the house could extend those protections further.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package last week that includes a full-year ban on eviction foreclosure filings over nonpayment, according to Bloomberg News.

The bill would also enact automatic forbearance for delinquent borrowers, and would include $50 billion in emergency rental assistance funds as well as a homeowner assistance fund with up to $80 million for each state.

“This relief is essential, and the Senate must act now to keep Americans safe at home,” said Noëlle Porter, director of government affairs for the National Housing Law Project, in an email to Bloomberg News.

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The first stimulus package, the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, passed with bipartisan support in March and helped stave off a wave of evictions. The current federal eviction ban has been extended through the end of the year, but housing advocates worry that without further aid, tenants will face evictions en masse once it expires.

It remains to be seen whether this second $2.2 trillion stimulus package will advance; it would need approval from the Republican-led Senate, as well as the Trump administration, and thus far support from those camps has been elusive. Talks on the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act have stalled since the House passed the bill in May. The existing package is narrower in scope than the HEROES Act.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday on MSNBC that negotiations are continuing, as reports about the president’s illness dominated the news. The bill passed just hours before the first reports emerged that President Donald Trump had tested positive for Covid-19. [Bloomberg News] — Akiko Matsuda