Today House Democrats released their $3 trillion Phase 4 COVID-19 relief legislation, the HEROES Act (see the bill text and section-by-section summary). The timeline for the House to consider the legislation is currently set for Friday, but could be postponed, and the legislation is not expected to go far as is in the Republican-controlled Senate. It is unclear how Senate Majority Leader McConnell will move forward on negotiations at this point, as he has suggested his top priority for the next relief package is the controversial topic of business liability protection. That said, the Small Business Administration Payroll Protection Program is expected to run out of funding again soon and should keep negotiations moving forward, though negotiators may not come to resolution until sometime in June.
The legislation is focused on measures to stabilize the economy and families. Among other items, the package includes: an extension of unemployment compensation, additional state and local funding, expansion of the employer retention credit, expansion of the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program, pension and retirement relief, additional direct payments and tax credits to individuals and families as well as other tax relief for teachers, first responders and COVID-19 front-line workers. A fifth package is expected to focus on more industry-specific measures, including broader infrastructure and tax provisions.
- $100 billion for a new Emergency Rental Assistance program, based off of the Emergency Solutions Grant framework, to assist renters who are unable to attain or maintain housing stability (see summary here)
- $75 billion to create a Homeowners Assistance Fund at the state, local, and tribal level to help homeowners with mortgage payments, insurance, property taxes, and other costs
- $11.5 billion in Homeless Assistance Grants
- $10 billion for Housing Choice Vouchers for people experience or at risk of homelessness and survivors of domestic violence
- $5 billion in Community Development Block Grants
- $4 billion in Tenant Based Rental Assistance
- $2 billion in Public Housing Operating funding
- $1.2 billion to provide staffing, services and other resources for Section 202 properties, plus $500 million in additional funding for elderly housing
- $1 billion for Community Development Financial Institutions to respond to the COVID-19 impact in distressed communities
- $750 million in Project-Based Rental Assistance
- $700 million for rural rental assistance
- $200 million for housing for persons with disabilities
- An expansion of CARES Act federally-backed mortgage forbearance to include all multifamily mortgages, regardless of federal backing
- An extension and expansion of the eviction moratorium for 12 months
- Bankruptcy protections for homeowners
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