COVID-19 Policy

COVID Policy & Advocacy

Updated April 1, 2021

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American Jobs Plan
COVID Relief Bill
Eviction and Foreclosure Moratoriums
Emergency Rental Assistance

Biden Requests $213B for Affordable Housing in American Jobs Plan

On March 31, President Biden announced his priorities for the American Jobs Plan, a $2.25 trillion infrastructure and recovery package. The president's plan would invest $213 billion “to produce, preserve, and retrofit more than two million affordable and sustainable places to live.” 

In a White House Fact SheetBiden called on Congress to fund the following affordable housing priorities:

  • Build and rehabilitate more than 500,000 homes for low- and middle-income homebuyers through the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (a NACEDA priority).
  • Produce, preserve, and retrofit more than a million affordable, resilient, accessible, energy efficient, and electrified housing units.
  • Eliminate exclusionary zoning and harmful land use policies. 
  • Address longstanding public housing capital needs.

NACEDA applauds President Biden for including the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (NHIA) in the plan. NHIA creates a tax credit to encourage private investment in single-family construction, rehabilitation, and repair in disinvested neighborhoods to stabilize neighborhoods and increase homeownership opportunities. NACEDA has been advocating for this legislation through The Neighborhood Homes Coalition.

Regarding NHIA, the fact sheet states: "President Biden calls on Congress to pass the innovative, bipartisan Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (NHIA). Offering $20 billion worth of NHIA tax credits over the next five years will result in approximately 500,000 homes built or rehabilitated, creating a pathway for more families to buy a home and start building wealth." 

Congress Passed COVID Relief Bill

On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law. This sweeping legislation is expected to lift 13 million people out of poverty, including 5.7 million children. These are some of the provisions of interest to community developers:

  • $27.4 billion in emergency rental assistance
  • $5 billion for the HOME program to support homelessness assistance and supportive services
  • $9.96 billion for a Homeowner Assistance Fund, including $100 million for housing counseling via NeighborWorks America
  • $7.25 billion in additional funding for Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans (still scheduled to close March 31)
  • $15 billion for targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance payments targeted to low-income communities
  • $20 million for fair housing activities
  • $350 billion to help states, counties, cities and tribal governments mitigate economic harm from the pandemic.
  • $1,400 individual stimulus checks.

For more details on the housing and homelessness provisions in the relief bill, see NLIHC’s factsheet.

Biden Administration Extends Eviction and Foreclosure Moratoriums

On his first day in office, President Biden signed an executive order directing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to extend the federal eviction moratorium. It also directed federal agencies to extend their COVID-related evictions and foreclosure moratoriums. Federal agencies took these actions:

  • Centers for Disease Control extended the national moratorium on evictions until March 31.  
  • HUD and the USDA extended eviction and foreclosure moratoriums through March 31. 
  • FHFA extended foreclosure and REO eviction moratoriums until February 28. 

Treasury Launches $25 Billion Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The $25 billion Emergency Rental Assistance Program was created by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. Access the web portal and FAQs, which were updated on February 22.

Of the total $25 billion Treasury will have access to, $23.875 billion will be dispersed to states and local governments. The minimum amount a state (including the District of Columbia) can receive is $200 million. Allocations to eligible local governments (those with populations of 200,000 or more) will come from that state’s share, capped at 45 percent of the total state allocation.

In order to be eligible for assistance, recipients must be renter households earning less than 80 percent of area median income who are either at risk of homelessness or housing instability or have qualified for unemployment insurance, experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs, or experienced hardship due to the pandemic. At least 90 percent of allotted funds must be used for the payment of rent and utilities and rent and utility arrears, and the remaining ten percent may be used for housing stability services, including case management, administrative costs, and other services to maintain housing stability.