Congressional leaders just unveiled their next coronavirus relief package, which does not include resources to address urgent housing needs.
The CARES Act provided some necessary funding for individuals and families facing housing instability, but much more is urgently needed. We must ensure that all of America’s lowest-income people have stable homes during this crisis.
While experts advise everyone to stay at home in Illinois and around the country, so as to protect our collective health and safety, we must make sure everyone has a home of their own.
People experiencing homelessness are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus and are far more likely to need hospitalization and to die as a result of the illness.
Because of your advocacy, Congress provided $12 billion for housing and homelessness in the last coronavirus package, but far more resources are needed.
Now, more than ever, housing is health care.
Contact Illinois senators and representatives today to urge them to address the critical housing needs of our lowest-income neighbors.
At the end of March, Congress passed the CARES Act, which provided $12 billion in housing and homelessness resources. This was an important first step, but Congress must do far more to meet the dire and urgent needs of people facing housing instability.
Most Urgent Needs
Now, along with the National Low Income Housing Coalition and other allies across the nation, Housing Action Illinois is calling for Congress to ensure that the next coronavirus spending package includes:
$11.5 billion for the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG).
Congress has already provided $4 billion in ESG funds in the CARES Act, but much more is needed. People who are homeless and contract coronavirus are twice as likely to be hospitalized, two to four times as likely to require critical care, and two to three times as likely to die than others in the general public.
A national, uniform moratorium on evictions and foreclosures.
In the CARES Act, Congress instituted a temporary moratorium on new filings for foreclosures and evictions due to nonpayment for renters and homeowners in all federally subsidized housing, and people living in properties covered by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration. Several states and localities have instituted eviction and foreclosure moratoriums. This patchwork of responses provides relief to only some and creates confusion for all.
$100 billion for emergency rental assistance and eviction prevention.
Congress must also provide rental assistance to avoid creating a financial cliff that renters will fall off of when eviction moratoria are lifted and back-rent is owed, as well as to ensure the continued viability of our country’s essential affordable housing infrastructure.