After grappling with the financial distress of the pandemic and eviction moratoriums for more than a year, housing providers have few resources left. Another extension only serves to exacerbate the challenges facing the rental housing industry and does not address the underlying financial stress of apartment residents, instead forcing households to accumulate insurmountable levels of debt. Furthermore, moratoriums do nothing to deal with the continuing housing affordability challenges that our country was already facing before the onset of COVID-19.
Instead, direct financial assistance has been shown to be the most effective approach towards keeping apartment residents safely and securely housed and to preserving the stability of the rental housing industry. The almost $50 billion that has been allocated for rental assistance will prove critical in helping those in need as the country emerges from the pandemic, and we must shift focus from legally uncertain federal eviction moratoriums to swift distribution and continued rental assistance funding. NMHC and NAA applaud Congress for their efforts in securing these resources and look forward to working together on the program’s continued success.
The tens of billions in rental assistance, as well as other critical financial support measures like expanded unemployment benefits, could only come through a comprehensive federal response. Now, NMHC and NAA encourage lawmakers at state and local levels of government to prioritize focus on swift and effective distribution of rental assistance funds. State and local jurisdictions have been and continue to be best-suited to craft the solutions that best fit their individual conditions.