***Due to the Coronavirus-related orders issued by NC Governor Roy Cooper, the GCAA office is open on a limited basis. Staff will be available for drop-in visits on Tuesdays & Thursdays and are available by appointment only on Wednesdays. Staff will also be available by phone and e-mail. We thank you for your patience as we play our part in keeping our staff and broader community safe.***

 

This is Why Your Response to our Calls for Action is so Important

This is Why Your Response to our Calls for Action is so Important
Important Message from NAA 

The House and Senate are returning from their July 4 recess work periods this week and preparing for the negotiations over the next, final COVID-19 relief/recovery bill. Several things took place last week that we want to share with you.

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) announced that she will introduce legislation - Rent Emergencies Leave Impacts on Evicted Families (RELIEF) Act - on the COVID-19 housing crisis. The bill reportedly:

  • bans evictions and foreclosures for a year while giving tenants up to 18 months to pay back missed payments; 
  • bars landlords from raising tenants’ rent or reporting unpaid rent to credit reporting companies for a year;
  • prohibits the use of Paycheck Protection Program funds to purchase foreclosed or distressed properties;
  • directs the Congressional Oversight Commission established by the CARES Act to monitor property management companies that received PPP loans; and
  • establishes a right to legal assistance for those facing eviction and provides state attorneys general with subpoena power in landlord investigations.

While this is one of many bills introduced by individual members of Congress around COVID-19 and housing, NAA is monitoring it very closely to ensure the apartment industry’s views on these provisions are clear for policymakers.


Additionally, NAA and a group of rental housing advocacy organizations joined together on the attached letter to all U.S. Senate offices expressing in detail our opposition to extending the CARES Act federal eviction moratorium. The timing of this was important as Senate Republicans are right now developing their baseline legislative package which will be released next week and be the starting point for negotiations with the Democrats.

Second, a draft proposal for COVID-19 legal liability protection was released last week. As the attached document describes, it would “provide temporary protection from the trial bar for schools, colleges, charities, and businesses that follow public-health guidelines…and protection from federal labor and employment laws for employers who follow public health guidelines.” This is the number one priority for Senate Republicans and there have been positive, bipartisan conversations about potential compromise language. NAA supports providing legal liability protection for the apartment industry.

Third, Senate Democrats issued a detailed summary of their proposed Economic Justice Act, a $350 billion proposal that includes a number of proposals impacting rental housing, including:

  • investment in preservation of affordable housing;
  • reinstatement of HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing and Disparate Impact rules;
  • establishment of a new renters’ tax credit; and
  • increasing the value of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit by modifying the formula for the 4 percent credit on new housing properties.


This appears to be an additional package of Democrat requests for Phase 4 legislation that began with the HEROES Act.

 

You should have received our grassroots call-to-action on Monday or Tuesday of last week. If you did and already did your part, thank you. Now send it to every colleague and friend who cares about our industry. If you did not take action yet, please do so today and get your communication into Congress. They need to hear from you, and this is the LAST COVID-19 bill that will be considered by the Congress this year.