Last week, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) joined colleagues in leading a group of 63 lawmakers in sending a letter to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris urging them to immediately prioritize the nation’s housing and homelessness crisis by using executive action to extend and strengthen the national eviction moratorium for the duration of the pandemic.
The letter comes as the Biden-Harris administration announces a $1.9 trillion emergency relief package that calls for $30 billion more in rental assistance and extends eviction protections.
“Our nation continues to be in the midst of a public health and economic crisis, with countless families in Massachusetts and all across the country at risk of eviction,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “With the pandemic worsening daily, we have a moral and collective responsibility to use every tool available to provide relief and support to our communities. While I was encouraged to see President-Elect Biden call for Congress to extend the eviction moratorium as part of his rescue plan, he must also take executive action to extend and strengthen the eviction moratorium for the duration of the pandemic. Doing so would help prevent a nationwide eviction tsunami that would disproportionately harm our most vulnerable neighbors. We must act with the urgency this crisis demands.”
In the letter, the lawmakers asked the incoming administration to:
•Extend and strengthen the national eviction moratorium for the remainder of the COVID-19 public health emergency by executive action;
•Ensure rental assistance funding is targeted to those who are most vulnerable; and;
•Work with Congress to expand housing assistance to provide stability for millions of underserved renters.
The national eviction moratorium – extended by Congress last month in the latest COVID-19 relief bill – is set to expire on January 31, 2021. That bill also included $25 billion in rental assistance.
The letter has been endorsed by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), the Downtown Women’s Center, The People Concern, the Koreatown Youth and Community Center (KYCC), People Assisting The Homeless (PATH), and the Little Tokyo Service Center.