News Releases

Bill would authorize $100 billion for an emergency rental assistance program to help renters stay housed during and after the pandemic 

Provisions of bill also included in House’s recently-released HEROES Act relief legislation

Senator Murray: “As Congress begins negotiating the next round of federal relief funding, I’m going to keep fighting to make sure it includes vital rental assistance to help protect public health and keep our families and communities safe and healthy”

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, joined by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), announced new legislation to assist renters during the on-going COVID-19 crisis. The bill, the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act of 2020, would establish a program to provide $100 billion in emergency rental assistance to help families and individuals pay their rent and remain housed during and after the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Congressman Denny Heck (D-WA, 10th) and Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA, 43rd) introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives, and provisions from the bill are included in House Democrats’ recently released coronavirus aid package, the HEROES Act.

“Families in Washington state and across the country are struggling to keep a roof over their heads during this pandemic, and as Congress begins negotiating the next round of federal relief funding, I’m going to keep fighting to make sure it includes vital rental assistance to help protect public health and keep our families and communities safe and healthy,” Senator Murray said.

Specifically, the bill would authorize $100 billion for an Emergency Rental Assistance program to help families and individuals pay their rent and utility bills and remain housed during and after the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, the program would provide funds to communities, states, and tribes through an existing federal temporary rental assistance program to facilitate the rapid distribution of funds through an already-available administrative and reporting system.

Stabilizing renters and the rental market through this crisis will help the economy recover from the economic aftershocks of the current emergency, and Senator Murray has consistently fought to secure vital housing assistance for Washington state families during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, And Economic Security (CARES) Act, Senator Murray successfully fought to include $7 billion in total assistance for affordable housing and homelessness assistance programs, including more than $50 million for Washington state through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and $6.25 million for Washington state Tenant-Based Rental Assistance. This past March, Senator Murray also pushed Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson to provide Public Housing Authorities with the resources and information that they need to safely and effectively do their jobs during this pandemic. 

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