July 28, 2020
The HEALS Act and Housing Assistance
Senate Republicans’ proposed coronavirus-response package, the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act, includes some housing assistance, but far less than what House Democrats have proposed. HEALS contains $3.3 billion in housing assistance, but it does not extend the federal moratorium on evictions, writes AAF’s Director of Financial Services Policy Thomas Wade. The moratorium expired last week, and as many as 23 million families face eviction by October, he notes.
With the expiration of the CARES Act moratorium on evictions, between 19 and 23 million families now face eviction by October. The CARES Act required a moratorium on evictions but not on landlords commencing eviction proceedings; in Virginia and North Carolina, where eviction protections expired last month, 22,000 eviction cases are underway. If the moratorium is not extended then millions of families could be without homes. The displacement of so many could have enormous ramifications, not just for the existing homeless population in the United States, but also for the spread of the virus, as individuals are forced to move back in with relatives or into unsafe housing.