HOME COVID-19 Relief Proposal
The impact of COVID-19 has been immediate and severe, on low-income residents and people of modest economic means and the mission-driven groups that develop and operate affordable housing for this population, and it is getting worse. Despite limited eviction moratoria and mortgage forebearance available to some owners, the problems will remain long beyond the time when those expire. A robust and sustained federal housing response is required so residents and owners are not burdened by mounting debt from which they cannot recover.
As leading intermediaries and networks of affordable housing owners, we believe additional housing-specific assistance is urgently required to address critical challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposal described below will allow states and localities to respond to problems as they emerge including providing rental subsidies and funding for COVID-related operating expenses, mitigating the disruption to affordable housing units currently in construction and scaling up the response to a worsening affordable housing crisis in the face of economic uncertainty. This will both offer relief for immediate needs, and also help the country recover from the crisis by stimulating affordable housing production that supports the construction sector and addresses housing needs across the country.
In order to meet multiple short and long-term affordable housing needs, we recommend that the Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) receive $48 billion in supplemental appropriations. HOME is our country’s most flexible and proven affordable housing program for delivering resources to communities of all sizes and is well positioned to support affordable housing response efforts during this crisis and in future recovery efforts.
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