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Biden Plan: Longer Eviction Ban, More Money for Landlords

If Congress passes the president-elect’s COVID-19 stimulus, the eviction moratorium will be extended to Sept. 30, but there will be an additional $25B to help landlords offset the cost of non-paying tenants – a total of $50B when combined with money in the latest stimulus package.

WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden announced a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan last Thursday night that called for a range of aid – including several housing-related proposals – to help households fend off the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biden’s plan calls for a national eviction and foreclosure moratorium extension until Sept. 30, 2021 – but it also includes an additional $25 billion more in rental assistance to help landlords and $5 billion to protect the homeless. That aid is on top of the $25 billion approved in last month’s $900 billion stimulus package.

“While the $25 billion allocated by Congress was an important down payment on the back rent accrued during the crisis, it’s insufficient to meet the scale of the need,” Biden’s team noted in a statement on the stimulus package.

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) has advocated for rental assistance since Congress passed the first round of pandemic relief, the CARES Act, in late March 2020. NAR and other industry groups argued that a federal eviction moratorium without rental assistance would lead to a crisis – one in which housing providers couldn’t cover costs and tenants fell further and further behind in payments.

“NAR looks forward to reviewing this proposal in more depth, but we are pleased to initially note President-elect Biden’s intentions to expand unemployment assistance, provide hundreds of billions in funding for state and local governments and authorize significant resources for homelessness assistance,” NAR President Charlie Oppler said in a statement on Friday. “Perhaps most notably for our members and for America’s real estate industry, we applaud the inclusion of an additional $25 billion in rental assistance for housing providers and rental families.”

In a press conference Thursday night, Biden said the nation needs an extra stimulus geared to homeowners and renters to help stop a wave of evictions and foreclosures. The package passed last month extended the eviction moratorium until Jan. 31, but about 1 in 5 renters (19%) were behind on payments in December 2020, according to the Center on Budget Policies and Priorities, as reported by CNBC.

Biden’s plan also calls for a range of other housing-related proposals, such as setting aside funds to provide legal assistance to households who may face foreclosure or eviction, as well as $5 billion in emergency assistance to those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Biden also called on housing agencies to allow applications for forbearance on federally backed mortgages until Sept. 30 to give struggling homeowners more time to request a delay in mortgage payments from their lenders.

Among other provisions, Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan also called for additional individual stimulus checks – $1,400 per person.

Source: “Biden Calls for Extending National Eviction Moratorium Through September 2021 as Part of $1.9 Trillion Stimulus,” MarketWatch (Jan. 14, 2021) and “Biden Calls for $30 Billion More in Rental Assistance and Extending Eviction Ban,” CNBC (Jan. 14, 2021)