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September 08, 2020

ABA calls on Congress to enact eviction moratorium and provide rental and mortgage assistance

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2020 – American Bar Association President Patricia Lee Refo sent a letter on Sept. 5, to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer calling for immediate action to extend the congressional moratorium on evictions and to provide rental and mortgage assistance to renters and property owners to cover missed payments during the pandemic.

In the letter, Refo explained that a recent evictions moratorium implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would only remain in effect until Dec. 31, and it would further require landlords to shoulder significant financial expenses during the time they would not receive rent revenue from families unable to pay. Failure to act could lead to a sharp spike in unemployment and homelessness, as well as extreme demands on community health and housing services. Early estimates indicate that approximately $100 billion in federal rental assistance is needed to prevent housing instability.

“The CDC’s eviction moratorium is a necessary measure that provides critical relief from the threat of eviction for adults and children across the country and will help control the spread of COVID-19,” Refo said. “However, the moratorium is only a temporary and incomplete remedy. Federal rental assistance also is necessary to address the mounting rental debt and landlord expenses.”

Read a copy of the letter here.

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