Congressman Al Green: “The Rent Must Be Paid, Not Delayed.”

Sep 16, 2020 Issues: Financial Services, Housing

(Washington, D.C.) — On Wednesday, September 16, 2020, Congressman Al Green released the following statement, regarding the Financial Services Committee hearing entitled, Prioritizing Fannie’s and Freddie’s Capital over America’s Homeowners and Renters? A Review of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic with FHFA Director Mark Calabria. Congressman Green decries this administration’s inadequate eviction moratorium and demands rental assistance:

“On August 14, 2020, during a virtual town hall on the rental housing crisis with the Congressional Black Caucus, I emphatically stated that the rent must be paid, not delayed. Today, as we hear from Director Calabria, about FHFA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I must reiterate: The rent must be paid, not delayed,” Congressman Al Green expressed. “As Congress remains at an impasse over the next coronavirus relief package, millions of renters are at risk of poverty and homelessness by the end of the year. While the President has offered a moratorium on evictions, this still leaves many residential rental property owners unable to keep up with the mortgage and additional expenses that ensure safe living conditions for their tenants.”

Congressman Green added, “The Honorable Maxine Waters’ Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act, which passed the House of Representatives 78 days ago, would provide $100 billion to renters as well as $75 billion to homeowners to stop the looming housing crisis and help to ensure the rent is paid. The Heroes Act, which passed the House 123 days ago, includes similar funding. Each of these bills would benefit renters and residential rental property owners alike, allowing renters to pay the rent and homeowners who serve as landlords to keep their rental properties afloat.”

“The federal eviction moratorium issued by this administration merely delays the rent until after December 31, 2020, which will cause many renters to accrue an inordinate amount of back payments that they may never be able to repay. Further, landlords will be unable to evict tenants impacted by the coronavirus pandemic due to the moratorium, but many may become unable to maintain their properties without rental payments, which still leaves renters susceptible to homelessness. Also, during the pandemic, HUD Secretary Ben Carson and Director Calabria have pushed harmful policies that undermine fair housing. Coupled with the eviction moratorium, these policies threaten the stability and the future of the housing market as we know it.”

Congressman Green concluded, “According to a September 3, 2020 letter penned by key real estate industry stakeholders to House and Senate leadership, ‘the real estate industry is being mandated to shoulder an unrecoverable financial burden that could lead to the greatest rental housing crisis of our lifetime.’ We must not allow renters and residential rental property owners to needlessly suffer. This administration must work with Congress to put an end to this building crisis within a crisis and ensure the rent is paid, not delayed.”  

For previous thoughts from Congressman Green on the rental housing crisis our nation faces in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, see the following:

For Congressman Green’s Q&A during the September 16, 2020 Financial Services virtual hearing on Prioritizing Fannie’s and Freddie’s Capital over America’s Homeowners and Renters? A Review of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, click HERE.