MHI is closely monitoring the development of the next round of COVID-19 funding, including the “Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act” (HEROES Act), which was introduced by Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday and expected to be considered by the full House of Representatives on Friday.
Among the various provisions in this 1,815 page bill is $100 billion for emergency rental assistance for the 10 million renter households at risk of eviction or homelessness due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. MHI is monitoring this provision, as well as language that extends and expands the eviction moratorium and foreclosure moratorium in the CARES Act, including funding support for landlords and lenders that are subject to such provisions. Since the first COVID-19 funding bill passed Congress, MHI has been working as a part of a coalition of national housing industry trade groups to advocate for provisions supporting lenders and manufactured home community owners.
The HEROES Act includes a section called “COVID-19 Tax Relief Act” that is intended to support families and small businesses. The bill also includes changes to the Paycheck Protection Program, including making all Section 501(c) organizations with 500 or fewer employees eligible to apply for PPP funds. MHI continues to work with a coalition of 150 business industry groups to advocate for changes to the tax code to provide relief for families and businesses. Recently, the coalition sent a letter to Congress challenging guidance by the Internal Revenue Service on deductible expenses covered by funds from Paycheck Protection Program.
Once this massive legislation passes the House it will be sent to the Senate for consideration, where it is expected to be changed dramatically. Provisions of interest to MHI members in the HEROES Act include:
Assistance to Homeowners – $75 billion to states, territories, and tribes to address the ongoing needs of homeowners struggling to afford their housing due directly or indirectly to the impacts of the pandemic by providing direct assistance with mortgage payments, property taxes, property insurance, utilities, and other housing related costs.
Assisting Small Businesses – $10 billion in grants to small businesses that have suffered financial losses as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Department of Labor – $3.1 billion to support workforce training and worker protection activities related to coronavirus, including:
- $2 billion to support worker training
- $100 million for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for workplace protection and enforcement activities in response to coronavirus
Administration for Children and Families – $10.1 billion to provide supportive and social services for families and children through programs including:
- $1.5 billion for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP);
- $1.5 billion to support paying water bills for low income families
Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (Section 8) – $4 billion to allow public housing agencies (PHAs) to respond to coronavirus and the ability to keep over 2.2 million families stably housed even when facing a loss of income, including $1 billion for new, temporary, vouchers for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, or fleeing domestic violence.
Community Development Block Grant funds for localities – $5 billion for coronavirus response and to mitigate the impacts in our communities to be distributed by formula to current grantees.
Emergency Rental Assistance – $100 billion to provide emergency assistance to help low-income renters at risk of homelessness avoid eviction due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Extension of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) – Extension of the $600 per week FPUC supplement to state and federal unemployment benefits through January 31, 2021.
Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures – Extends and expands the eviction moratorium and foreclosure moratorium in the CARES Act to include all renters and homeowners, changes the forbearance provided under the CARES Act, and specifies the loan modifications and loss mitigation that should be available to homeowners following a moratorium to prevent any homeowner from facing a lump sum payment that they cannot afford.
Liquidity for Mortgage Servicers and Residential Rental Property Owners – Requires the Federal Reserve facility established by the CARES Act to be implemented for the benefit of mortgage servicers and residential rental property owners, contingent on compliance with certain reporting requirements and protections for borrowers and renters.
Restrictions on Collections of Debt During a National Disaster or Emergency – Temporary moratorium on consumer debt collection during this COVID-19 crisis, and for 120 days thereafter.
Repayment Period and Forbearance for Consumers – The bill sets out forbearance and repayment options for consumers when payments resume following the foreclosure moratorium, including maintaining the same payment schedule by extending the maturity by the same period of time payments were suspended.
Bankruptcy Protections – Prohibits federal relief payments from being taken in bankruptcy proceedings; specifies that homeowners in bankruptcy proceedings can participate in the mortgage forbearance program created by the CARES Act and other COVID-19 mortgage assistance; increases the amount of home equity protected in the bankruptcy process to $100,000; and opens Chapter 13 to more homeowners and small business by raising the limits for debt to qualify for a bankruptcy through Chapter 13. Specifies that families who file for bankruptcy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic can keep their homes.
If you have any questions, please contact MHI’s Advocacy and Communications Department at MHIgov@mfghome.org or 703-558-0675.