The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and the National Apartment Association (NAA) appreciate President Biden’s prompt and well-intended action to address the ongoing financial struggle of our nation’s 40 million renters.
However, NMHC and NAA continue to raise serious concerns about eviction moratoriums because they do not address underlying financial distress and leave households accumulating insurmountable levels of debt.
We remain heartened by President Biden’s recently announced relief proposal, the “American Rescue Plan,” which includes additional unemployment benefits, increased stimulus checks and an additional $25 billion in rental assistance. These measures will continue to support those households and apartment owners and operators who are unable, through no fault of their own, to meet their financial obligations.
We are deeply concerned that the President’s rescue package includes a 9-month eviction moratorium in addition to the CDC Order extension enacted today. Such policies have been in place for nearly a year while targeted, direct rental assistance took nine months to pass Congress.
Even so, allocated rental assistance funds do not fully address the $70 billion in outstanding debt nor accruing debt moving forward. The industry simply cannot continue operation under these policies without disastrous harm to housing affordability.
We look forward to working together with the Biden Administration and Congress to provide the additional financial support needed to help close the growing gap of tens of billions in rental debt that accumulated in 2020. Additional financial support is urgently needed to prevent displacement, stabilize millions of Americans who continue to struggle under the weight of COVID-19 financial impacts and ensure rental housing providers can continue operations and keep their residents stably housed.