Pressley, Gomez, Colleagues Call on President-Elect Biden to Extend Eviction Moratorium on First Day in Office

January 15, 2021
Press Release
Biden-Harris Administration Must Prioritize Housing and Homelessness Crisis, Sign Executive Order to Halt Evictions and Work with Congress to Pass Rent Relief

Text of Letter (PDF)

 

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) led 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.”

“The Biden-Harris COVID rescue package announced yesterday makes it clear that the incoming administration is committed to ensuring that no one should have to choose between going without food or shelter,” said Congressman Gomez. “And while I look forward to working with the new administration to enact a COVID rescue plan into law, President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris have the opportunity to provide housing relief on Inauguration Day. I strongly urge the Biden-Harris administration to use its executive authority on day one to extend the eviction moratorium and provide some sense of security to millions of Americans.”

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.

The following Members of Congress signed onto the letter: Mark Takano (CA-41), Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Donald S. Beyer Jr. (VA-08), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Dwight Evans (PA-02), Mike Doyle (PA-18), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), David Price (NC-04), Filemon Vela (TX-34), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), André Carson (IN-07), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), David Cicilline (RI-01), Karen Bass (CA-37), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Deborah K. Ross (NC-02), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Abigail D. Spanberger (VA-07), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Ami Bera (CA-07), Jim Cooper (TN-05), Doris Matsui (CA-06), Darren Soto (FL-09), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05) , Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Alma S. Adams (NC-12), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), J. Luis Correa (CA-46), and Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), Suzan K. DelBene (WA-01), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Adam Smith (WA-09), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Peter Welch (VT-AL), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Jason Crow (CO-06), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Judy Chu (CA-27), and Daniel T. Kildee (MI-05).

From the onset of the pandemic, Congresswoman Pressley has fought tirelessly to provide robust housing protections for families in Massachusetts and across the nation.

  • On March 18, 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 or a moratorium on evicting renters during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • On March 19, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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.

 

 

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