Washington, DC – Yesterday, Senate Republicans proposed an inadequate and unacceptable coronavirus relief package that fails to include resources and protections to ensure struggling renters can stay in their homes and to get people experiencing homelessness rapidly housed.  Up to 23 million renters are on the brink of eviction, and every day of inaction puts more of them at imminent risk of losing their homes.  Evictions are already on the rise; state and local moratoriums have already expired; and local rental assistance programs are being depleted in mere hours due to overwhelming demand.  A mass wave of evictions would risk lives, drive families deeper into poverty, further burden overstretched hospital systems, and make it more difficult to contain the virus.  Keeping families stably housed is much cheaper than providing shelter and services after people become homeless.

In the next relief package, Congress should provide $100 billion in emergency rental assistance, provide at least $11.5 billion for homeless assistance, provide at least $10 billion for Housing Choice Vouchers, and enact a uniform national moratorium on evictions.  Together, these essential resources and protections will stem the tide of evictions in our country.


“The fact that local rental assistance programs across the country are running out of money in just a few short hours should tell Congress all it needs to know,” said Mike Koprowski, National Director of the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign.  “The American people have experienced major economic shocks due to circumstances beyond their control, and they are trying to access rental help that simply isn’t there for them.  Senate Republicans can and should do better than what they just proposed.”

“Up to 23 million renters are on the brink of eviction and the Senate Republican’s proposal refuses to throw them a lifeline,” said Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.  “Ensuring that everyone is stably housed during and after the COVID-19 pandemic is not only a moral imperative – it is a public health necessity.”

“It’s not too late for the Senate majority to support millions of America’s children by preventing them from being evicted in the upcoming months,” said Dr. Megan Sandel, Pediatrician at Boston Medical Center and Co-Lead Principal Investigator for Children’s HealthWatch. “Unless they act soon, the eviction tidal wave will disrupt any schooling this fall.”

“After months of inaction to further respond to the struggles working families are facing due to COVID-19, Leader McConnell’s proposal is an embarrassment,” said Vanita Gupta, President and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.  “It is a morally deficient response that will cost additional lives, increase evictions, and delay our economic recovery. Congress needs to drastically step up for the people working on the frontlines and bearing the brunt of this crisis. Having a place to call home is a human right, and no one should have to worry about keeping a roof over their heads during a global pandemic.”

“Local leaders understand that housing stability is essential for long-term job security and economic recovery,” said Clarence E. Anthony, CEO and Executive Director of the National League of Cities. “From the beginning of our national efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus, local governments large and small have prioritized funding and other measures to preserve housing stability for vulnerable residents.  The latest emergency aid proposal from the Senate is stubbornly out of touch with the urgent need for additional federal intervention to maintain and improve local programs that assist struggling households, and other efforts to prevent avoidable evictions and foreclosures as long as extraordinary measures to contain the spread of coronavirus are required.”

“It is an outrage that the Senate relief package makes an appalling situation even worse for struggling households,” said Luis Guardia, President of the Food Research & Action Center. “With no boosts to SNAP and no protections for renters, more and more people are going to be forced to choose between paying for food or paying for housing. This will only lead to more hunger and homelessness that is proven to disproportionately affect Black and Latinx communities.”

“The Healthcare Anchor Network (HAN) is a national collaboration of over 50 leading hospitals and healthcare systems building more inclusive and sustainable local economies who understand that housing is a key determinant of good health,” said David Zuckerman, HAN Director. “We urge the Senate to include rental and homeless assistance in its next coronavirus relief package so that tens of millions of Americans can maintain their health and safety at home during this pandemic.”

“On behalf of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), I want to express my deepest disappointment that the Republican leadership in the Senate failed to include funds for emergency rental assistance or homeless services in its proposed $1 trillion COVID-19 relief bill,” said Dr. Angelo McClain, CEO, National Association of Social Workers. “Given the looming pandemic-related economic crisis, it is critical that the Senate bill retains the $100 billion in emergency rental assistance and $11.5 billion for homelessness that is in the House’s relief bill (HEROES Act). NASW strongly urges both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to reject the proposed relief package as written and ensure that emergency rental assistance and homeless services funds are included.”

“Without rental assistance, we will surely see an increase in people experiencing homelessness, with dire consequences to their health,” said Vincent Keane, President & Chief Executive Officer, Unity Health Care, Inc. “This community already struggles to manage chronic illness, and the arrival of the coronavirus, and now the excessive heat, has made matters much worse, straining our already limited resources. Helping people stay in their homes is the best solution to support their physical and mental health.  Housing is healthcare.”

“Millions of people face eviction if Congress doesn’t take action on housing assistance and protections,” said Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund.  “For people of color, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and others with marginalized identities, losing your home may mean a lengthy break in housing stability – LGBTQ and other marginalized people are routinely told about fewer rental opportunities and are quoted higher rental costs when trying to access housing.  When we get evicted, when we can’t find housing, we end up experiencing homelessness.  Even before the pandemic, a third of transgender and nonbinary people and nearly 50% of trans and nonbinary people of color experienced homelessness; these same communities are at higher risk for contracting viruses like COVID-19. For Congressional Republicans to ignore the housing needs of marginalized people is morally reprehensible.”

“We are deeply concerned that the proposal put forth by Senate Republicans fails to focus on the housing crisis facing millions of families,” said Myra Jones-Taylor, Chief Policy Officer, ZERO TO THREE.  “A stable home is an essential ingredient for babies to thrive, and this proposal will force already struggling households into impossible choices. It is irresponsible and cruel to ask overburdened and under resourced families to decide between putting food on the table and paying months of back rent to avoid facing eviction in the middle of a public health crisis. As the State of Babies Yearbook: 2020 shows, one in six infants and toddlers lived in crowded housing even before the pandemic. Before the virus and especially now, children and families of color are most likely to be affected. Congress must act to include housing assistance and protections, or the pandemic’s impact will follow our babies for the rest of their lives.”

“The focus of Congress responding to job security and students returning to school in the midst of our pandemic cannot be separated from the urgent need to protect against homelessness for renters,” said Josh Davis, Vice President of Policy and Partnerships at StriveTogether. “A comprehensive response to the most basic of needs is necessary right now, in order to protect our most vulnerable in the nation.”

“Republicans have had months to create legislation that addresses the scale of the COVID-19 crisis,” said Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice. “It is shocking that this meager plan was all they could come up with. In May, the House passed a comprehensive plan that meets the moment called the HEROES Act. Now eviction protections have expired. Unless the Senate takes up the measures proposed in the HEROES Act, the housing system will collapse. Senator McConnell’s plan manufactures a housing crisis by allowing millions to be evicted from their homes. Until HEROES Act proposals are adopted, the White House and Senate Republicans are abdicating their duty to protect the American people.”

“As the nation continues to struggle with the devastating effects of COVID-19, many survivors of domestic violence remain trapped at home with their abusive partner, in temporary shelter, or somewhere in between – unable to access stable housing, financial resources, or resources that would help them escape and heal from abuse,” said Farzana Safiullah, Chief Executive Officer at the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. “This current pandemic severely exacerbates long standing problems for survivors, particularly Black, Indigenous and people of color, and compounds additional risks and barriers to their safety. The Senate proposal overlooks the reality faced by survivors of domestic violence and Congress should act immediately to increase resources to ensure and increase housing stability.”

“Before the current public health crisis, people with disabilities and their families already faced a national shortage of accessible and affordable housing,” said Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc of the United States.  “Now, many people with disabilities face high rates of infection and death from the virus, particularly people with disabilities who live in congregate settings.  We need accessible housing options, an extended moratorium on evictions, and additional resources so people with disabilities and those who provide their services have a better chance to stay safe and healthy.”

“Women of color make up the largest share of women who experience homelessness in the U.S. As the coronavirus spreads, displaced, homeless, and unhoused individuals are among the most vulnerable to infection and face increased risk of exposure to COVID-19,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, CEO, YWCA USA. “Shelters – like those operated by YWCA – are operating at full capacity with limited staff or volunteers, and spaces to quarantine those who test positive are inadequate. Having a safe place to live is more critical now that ever. Congress should move swiftly to provide funding that keeps women of color and other vulnerable populations safely in their homes to alleviate the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the safety and well-being of the American people.”

“Rising housing instability throughout the pandemic has reminded us that now more than ever, housing is health,” said Sarah Hexem Hubbard, Executive Director of the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium. “COVID-19 hasn’t caused these gaps in our healthcare system and housing landscape, but has exposed them and made the need for solutions more urgent. We call on the Senate to legislate creative solutions that address economic and health-related aspects of housing needs, while being grounded in public health and social justice.”

“It is essential that in the next COVID-19 relief bill Congress ensures that families keep their homes through new rental assistance funding and an extended eviction moratorium,” said Gary Cunningham, President of Prosperity Now. “These measures would help families and help the economy.”


Press Release