WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement after the House voted to pass H.R. 7301, the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020:

“Over the last several months, renters have found it increasingly difficult to make their full monthly rental payment obligations due to COVID-19.  Recent reports show that evictions are moving forward for renters who are not protected by an eviction moratorium, and as of June 14, there were 4.2 million homeowners in forbearance. Congress must act swiftly to prevent further erosion of America’s housing and rental markets. Today, I was proud to vote yes on the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act, legislation that will protect millions of renters, homeowners, and individuals experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness.

“I continue to hear from families in my district who are struggling to make rent or mortgage payments while facing unemployment. I have also spoken with property managers who are seeking to provide assistance to tenants while simultaneously facing an inability to meet their own mortgage payments. The Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act seeks to stabilize the entire housing system to stave off further displacement and economic harm.

“This important legislation would extend the eviction moratorium for renters and landlords to 2021, invest $100 billion in a new emergency rental assistance program, provide low-cost loans for landlords, and increase funds for federal housing assistance programs like the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, homeless assistance grant programs, and supportive housing for the elderly and individuals with disabilities.

“The bill would also help support homeowners by providing $75 billion in direct assistance for homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage, property taxes, and insurance, extending the foreclosure moratorium, and expanding forbearance relief.

“This bill takes a holistic approach to stabilizing the housing market for renters and owners alike, while also expanding federal investments in critical safety net housing programs that protect some of the nation’s most vulnerable populations. As we begin to reopen and rebuild our economy, this bill will provide the stability Americans need to move forward and help keep a roof over their heads.”