Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today joined Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and a group of senators to introduce legislation creating a $75 billion Housing Assistance Fund. The fund would provide state Housing Finance Agencies with a flexible source of federal aid to help people keep up with housing payments and remain in their homes.
Financial assistance would be available for mortgage and utility payments to help prevent eviction, mortgage delinquency, default, foreclosure or loss of utility services.
“The coronavirus pandemic has the potential to make the affordable housing crisis even worse. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs practically overnight and are struggling to figure out how they'll pay their mortgages. This bill will help prevent millions of Americans from facing mortgage delinquency, default and foreclosures. An influx of evictions and newly homeless Americans while so much of our economy remains closed will only worsen this pandemic,” said Feinstein.
“Through no fault of their own, too many families are overburdened right now and in danger of losing their homes. Congress needs to act or the likely mass-wave of evictions and foreclosures could intersect with a potential second wave of the coronavirus and lead to an even greater public health and economic disaster. This is a targeted investment that can quickly be enacted and delivered through existing infrastructure to help families, neighborhoods, and communities,” said Reed.
In addition to Feinstein and Reed, the bill is supported by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).
The legislation is supported by the following organization: National Council of State Housing Agencies; Habitat for Humanity; National Housing Conference; National Community Reinvestment Coalition; National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders; National Leased Housing Association; Americans for Financial Reform; National Consumer Law Center and Center for Responsible Lending.