facebook linkedin twitter

House Legislation Provides Rental Assistance to Families in Response to Recessions and Natural Disasters

January 4, 2021 by Sean Trambley
Banners against renters eviction reading no job, no rent is displayed on a controlled rent building in Washington, DC on August 9, 2020. (ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON – This week, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., introduced the Crisis Housing Act establishing a new automatic housing assistance program to provide emergency rental assistance vouchers to households during natural disasters or economic recessions. 

“When responding to an unforeseen disaster like a pandemic, hurricane, or economic recession, families cannot wait in uncertainty for a relief bill to pass in Congress,” said Smith. “As we have seen with the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for rental assistance skyrockets in times of economic downturns, and we need a system that can rapidly deploy support to ensure vulnerable families at risk of displacement continue to have access to stable housing. Housing insecurity affects far too many families as is, and this bill would provide an automatic safety net to those most in need during a crisis.”

Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, the United States had an affordable housing crisis putting many families on the brink of displacement. The pandemic has further highlighted the heightened vulnerability of families in the case of economic crises in the future. 

There is currently no housing support program that is automatically triggered when a natural or economic disaster occurs, and this bill would remedy that gap.

“Disasters often hit the lowest income households hardest, yet these same families struggle to receive the housing assistance they need afterwards. The result is often a predictable and entirely preventable rise in eviction and homelessness rates,” said Diane Yentel, National Low Income Housing Coalition president and CEO. “If passed, the Crisis Housing Act would play a critical role in providing safe, accessible, and affordable homes to individuals with the greatest needs after a disaster by providing longer-term, flexible, rental assistance – helping them safely recover without the fear of being rendered homeless.”

The Crisis Housing Act would automatically provide low-income families and individuals with rental assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development when either: the Stafford Act is invoked during a natural disaster, or when the state unemployment rate suddenly increases by a specific amount.

This legislation is the House companion bill to the Crisis Housing Act introduced in the Senate by U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. 

A one-pager of the bill can be read here and the full bill text can be read here.

Economy

US Jobless Claims Fall to New Pandemic Low of 290,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to a new low point since... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to a new low point since the pandemic erupted, evidence that layoffs are declining as companies hold onto workers. Unemployment claims dropped 6,000 to 290,000 last week, the third straight drop, the... Read More

October 20, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Congress Tries to Intervene In Supply Chain Disruptions

WASHINGTON -- While economists warned about disruptions to the U.S. supply chain, Chuck Fowke told a congressional panel Wednesday about... Read More

WASHINGTON -- While economists warned about disruptions to the U.S. supply chain, Chuck Fowke told a congressional panel Wednesday about countertops. “If you can’t get the cabinets, you can’t put the countertops on,” Fowke said as he testified on behalf of the National Association of Home... Read More

Commerce Head Out to Save US Jobs, 1 Computer Chip at a Time

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gina Raimondo only wears watches made by Bulova — a company that laid off her scientist father,... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gina Raimondo only wears watches made by Bulova — a company that laid off her scientist father, closed its Rhode Island factory and moved production to China in 1983. The watches give Raimondo, the U.S. commerce secretary, a sense of mission as President... Read More

October 14, 2021
by Dan McCue
White House Action on Supply Chain Bottleneck Seen As First Step To Ending Crisis

WASHINGTON -- They’ve almost become as ubiquitous as scenes of weathermen and women leaning into the fierce winds of a... Read More

WASHINGTON -- They’ve almost become as ubiquitous as scenes of weathermen and women leaning into the fierce winds of a tropical storm during hurricane season. We refer, of course, to the daily television news footage of a reporter bobbing up and down in a decidedly modest... Read More

US Wholesale Prices Rose Record 8.6% Over 12 Months

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation at the wholesale level rose 8.6% in September compared to a year ago, the largest advance... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation at the wholesale level rose 8.6% in September compared to a year ago, the largest advance since the 12-month change was first calculated in 2010. The Labor Department reported Thursday that the monthly increase in its producer price index, which measures inflationary... Read More

October 13, 2021
by Dan McCue
White House Steps Up Fight Against Supply Chain Woes

WASHINGTON --  In an ideal economy, the nation’s supply chains work something like this: raw materials, finished products and ready-to-assemble... Read More

WASHINGTON --  In an ideal economy, the nation’s supply chains work something like this: raw materials, finished products and ready-to-assemble merchandise like cars and trucks flow into the nation’s ports. The largest of these ports, those blessed to sit on deep-water harbors, typically have rail tracks... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top