• Jackie Vanegas

Relief in a Time of Need? The Latest Bill Introduced in Congress.

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Covid-19 has impacted our lives in ways that we would never imagine. One of these being the increasing difficulty of maintaining financial stability. As the economy continues to struggle, the idea of paying rent and housing fees becomes less and less feasible for many. Because of this, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced the Evictions and Fees Act in the Senate earlier this week.

The Eviction and Fees Act is a standalone bill in which the main goal is to protect renters from eviction. More specifically, it extends the eviction moratorium put in place by the CARES act and also suspends any “charges fees, penalties, or other charges to the tenant related to such nonpayment of rent.” However, rent would not be forgiven and tenants could still face eviction after the moratorium expires. 

Nonetheless, it would provide much-needed relief for those many who are currently unemployed or furloughed. 

Ms. Warren took to Twitter to explain her reasoning behind the introduction of this bill and said: “Renters who lost their jobs because of the pandemic shouldn’t have to fear losing their homes too.” She went on, “Black & Brown communities are most at risk for eviction if we don't extend this moratorium. They’ve been hardest hit by Covid-19. Their businesses haven’t received as much relief. They're more likely to have lost income, and less likely to have savings to weather the crisis.” 

As Warren said herself, “Housing is a human right,” and it is. 

As health and government officials have said so many times: “Stay at home.”

But what if you can’t?

The Urban Institute found that there are over 8.9 million renter households (20 percent of all renter households) with at least one person who has lost their job in the past two months. 

Due to this, the Urban Institute concluded that far more renters are at risk of housing instability and homelessness, and more assistance is needed to help them throughout the pandemic. 

As a result of the increasing housing insecurity, the Eviction and Fees Act is essential to provide Americans economic relief in the midst of difficult times. 

 It is not only the rational thing to do, it is also the right thing to do. 

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