Bill addresses rent, mortgage cancellation amid pandemic

Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and colleagues re-introduced legislation designed to institute a nationwide cancellation of rents and primary home mortgage payments through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act constitutes full payment forgiveness, retroactive starting April 2020, with no accumulation of debt for renters or homeowners and no negative impact on their credit rating or rental history.

“Housing is a critical determinant of health, economic opportunity, and social mobility,” Pressley said. “With the economic impact of this pandemic worsening and the threat of eviction and homelessness looming large for families nationwide, we must take every measure possible to keep families safely housed, forgive all rental debt, and ensure that the credit scores of hard hit families are not forever tarnished. I’m proud to partner with Congresswoman Omar on the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act, which meets the moment and will help move us towards an America where no person has to choose between putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their head.”

Lawmakers indicated the bill would establish a relief fund for landlords and lenders to cover losses from the canceled payments and create an optional buyout fund to fully finance the purchase of private rental properties by non-profits, public housing authorities, cooperatives, community land trusts, and states or local governments.