August 27, 2021
Pressley Statement on SCOTUS Ruling on Federal Eviction Moratorium
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to invalidate the CDC’s eviction moratorium is yet another devastating blow to the millions of vulnerable renters who once again find themselves at risk of being unhoused as COVID cases rise nationwide. With just over half of people in the United States fully vaccinated, breakthrough infections surging, and only 11 percent of federal emergency rental assistance funds distributed by states and localities, policymakers at all levels of government must act with urgency to prevent the impending eviction crisis and the trauma that would accompany it. “Our office has been working diligently to connect families and small landlords in the Massachusetts 7th with resources. “In Massachusetts, the Baker administration must expedite the disbursement of these federal emergency rental assistance funds, and I urge my colleagues in the state legislature to swiftly pass the COVID-19 Housing Equity legislation to strengthen eviction protections and help keep families safely housed. Congress should immediately pass legislation to extend the federal eviction moratorium for the duration of the pandemic, which would allow more time for renters and small landlords to receive emergency rental assistance. “Evictions are disruptive life events and preventable acts of policy violence that continue to disproportionately impact Black and brown families, and other vulnerable communities in Massachusetts and all across the country. Without collective action, COVID-19 will continue to spread, lives and homes will continue to be lost, and the hurt and harm experienced by our communities over the past year and a half will only get worse. We must act before it’s too late.” On March 18, 2020, Reps. Pressley, Katie Porter (D-CA) and Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) wrote to HUD calling for a moratorium on evicting renters during the coronavirus pandemic. On March 19, 2020, Rep. Pressley, along with progressive lawmakers and organizations, introduced the Housing is a Human Right Act to authorize more than $200 billion in federal spending over 10 years for crucial housing infrastructure and reduce homelessness. On March 23, 2020, Reps. Pressley and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) introduced the Public Health Emergency Shelter Act of 2020, legislation to provide critical funding to states and local governments responding to the needs of families and individuals experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis. This legislation was included and passed through the HEROES Act and H.R. 7301, the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020 . On April 10, 2020, Rep. Pressley urged Congressional leadership to prioritize recurring monthly cash payments to those most at-risk during the COVID-19 crisis. This funding would allow people to cover all their bills, including rent. On April 17, 2020, Reps. Pressley, Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and colleagues introduce the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act, a bill to institute a nationwide cancellation of rents and home mortgage payments through the duration of the coronavirus pandemic. On May 11, 2020, Reps. Tlaib, and Joe Neguse (D-CO) urge House and Senate leadership to include $11.5 billion in funding for Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) in the next relief package to aid the nation’s homeless population who are experiencing heightened vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 24, 2020, in a Financial Services Committee hearing, Rep. Pressley discussed the unprecedented financial cliff facing millions of renters and homeowners, the economic consequences of millions losing their homes, including the ability to return to work, and why funding for legal representation is so critical. On July 28, 2020, Rep. Pressley, Rep. DeLauro and Sen. Harris introduced the Housing Emergencies Lifeline Program (HELP) Act to provide much-needed, layered assistance to those facing eviction amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 18, 2021, Reps. Bush and Pressley sent a letter to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), calling on the CDC to strengthen and extend the federal moratorium on evictions, ensuring families can remain safely in their homes for the duration of the COVID-19 global health emergency. In June 2021, Congresswoman Pressley, along with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), re-introduced the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act , a bill to institute a nationwide cancellation of rents and home mortgage payments through the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.