COVID-19 Policy

COVID Policy & Advocacy

Federal Relief
Go directly to:
Biden Relief Package
2021 Packaged Stimulus
National Eviction Moratorium
Executive Order
HEALS Act
HEROES Act
CARES Act

State & Local Policy
For NACEDA Members' Policy Platforms, go to our Member Response page.

Biden Relief Package

On January 14, 2021 President-elected Biden released his $1.9 trillion legislative proposal for a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package. It includes provisions delivering direct aid to American families, businesses and communities, including essential resources and protections for America’s lowest-income renters and people experiencing homelessness.

 President-elect Biden calls for:

  • An increase in federal unemployment benefits from $300 per week to $400 per week, extended through September 2021
  • An increase from $600 to $2,000 per person stimulus payments
  • An extension of the federal eviction moratorium through September 2021
  • $30 billion in emergency rental and utility assistance
  • $5 billion to address the health and housing needs of people experiencing homelessness
  • $440 billion for aid to communities and businesses, including $350 billion in emergency funding to state, local and tribal governments
Packaged stimulus and federal omnibus bill passes

The package signed December 27, 2020, by the President combines a roughly $900 billion stimulus deal as well as a $1.4 trillion FY 2021 omnibus spending bill. The general consensus among advocates is that the bill does what is needed for now. But more work will be necessary early in 2021 to keep communities afloat. The package includes a number of priorities for community development and affordable housing advocates. The package includes:
  • $600 stimulus checks for Americans making less than $75,000 per year.
  • An additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits through at least March 14, 2021
  • $284 billion for first and second forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans, expanded PPP eligibility for nonprofit organizations and program modifications to serve small businesses, nonprofit organizations and independent restaurants. Some of the money will be reserved for very small businesses through CDFIs and other community lenders.
  • $25 billion in emergency rental assistance to be distributed through states and an extension of the CDC's eviction moratorium through January 31, 2021.
  • $25 billion in new New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) authority, $5 billion per year for five years.
  • Roughly flat funding for other community development and housing programs in FY21 such as HOME, CDBG, and various urban and rural rental assistance programs.
  • $12 billion for the CDFI program to support lending in low-income and underserved communities. $4 billion will be set aside for institutions with under $2 billion in assets, of which $2 billion must go to institutions with under $500 million in total assets.
  • $3 billion in emergency support for the CDFI program to provide technical assistance.
  • The bill sets a permanent minimum 4 percent rate for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. A minimum 4 percent Housing Credit strengthens the feasibility of critical affordable housing developments and provides parity to the 9 percent rate. The 4 percent minimum rate has been a top priority of the national ACTION Coalition for a number of years.  
  • $41 million for the Section 4 Capacity Building program

National Eviction Moratorium

The order issued by the Centers for Disease Control on September 1, 2020 prevents most evictions for nonpayment of rent until January 31, 2021. The action is long overdue, badly needed, and will provide essential protection to millions of renters. While an eviction moratorium during the pandemic is essential, it is a half-measure that delays but does not prevent evictions. At the end of the moratorium, tenants will owe any unpaid rent — and landlords are not prevented from charging or collecting fees, penalties, or interest as a result of a tenant’s failure to pay rent on time. Congress and the White House must get back to work on negotiations to enact a comprehensive COVID-19 relief bill.

President's executive order does not prevent evictions

The executive order signed on August 8 by President Trump does not provide any new resources to assist renters or reinstate the limited federal eviction moratorium that expired on July 24, which covered 30% of renters nationwide. Instead, it merely directs federal agencies to “review all existing authorities and resources” and “make a determination” about whether halting evictions would prevent the spread of coronavirus. The president does not direct any agency to take any action to actually prevent evictions. The order directs HUD and the Department of Treasury merely to consider repackaging unspent funding already approved by Congress under the CARES Act.

Senate HEALS Act proposal is on hold until after Labor Day

The Senate officially adjourned for August recess through Labor Day, walking away from negotiations over the next coronavirus relief package and leaving tens of millions of renters on their own as they face evictions and imminent risk of homelessness. Senate Republicans had announced the $1 trillion "HEALS Act" on July 27 as an alternative to the $3 trillion "HEROES Act" proposal passed by the House of Representatives on May 15. Major parts of the HEALS act relevant for community developers include:

  • No significant new money for housing. The eviction and foreclosure moratorium is also allowed to end.
  • PPP 2.0 — Combined with leftover money from existing PPP funds, the program would have about $190 billion to make second forgivable loans to some businesses. The legislation also changes some eligibility requirements. 
  • No significant new money for state and local governments, though the bill allows more flexibility for previous funds.
  • $1200 stimulus payments, targeted similarly to payments made in the Spring.
  • The reduction of weekly unemployment benefits from $600 to $200, while setting a goal to adjust payments by Fall 2020 to 70% of pre-pandemic income.
  • $105 billion in education funding for K-12 and higher education.

House Passes HEROES Act — $3 Trillion Relief Package 

NACEDA strongly supports the $3 trillion Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, which was passed by the House on May 15. The legislation includes almost $200 billion in additional funding for housing and homelessness programs to help communities respond to the coronavirus. It also includes nearly $1 trillion to state and local governments to avert layoffs and $200 billion in hazard pay for essential workers and $1,200 direct payments to individuals. The bill is facing significant opposition in the Senate.

These provisions will be of particular interest to the community development sector:

  • $100 billion in emergency rental assistance to keep low-income renters stably housed during and after the public health emergency
  • An additional $11.5 billion to prevent and respond to outbreaks among people experiencing homelessness
  • A national, uniform moratorium on evictions for all renters
  • $5 billion for Community Development Block Grants
  • Funding for more than 100,000 new emergency housing vouchers
  • $1 billion for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund
  • More than $300 million for rural rental assistance
  • $10 billion for COVID-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program*
*The Economic Injury Disaster Loan grants would support small businesses and nonprofits by strengthening the Payroll Protection Program to ensure that it reaches under-served communities and nonprofits.
View a one-page summary, a section-by-section summary, and a resource on state and local relief provisions from the House Committee on Appropriations. This NLIHC budget chart compares the HEROES ACT and CARES Act.
 

Talking points for HEROES Act advocacy:

  • The Heroes Act is the kind of comprehensive action we need in this moment. Its scale matches the unprecedented need in our state and across our country.
  • The Heroes Act protects people’s livelihoods and their health and delivers urgently needed funding to our state that will keep crucial services such as education and health care intact.
  • It will provide emergency rental assistance for low-income renters who recently lost their jobs because of the pandemic and may face eviction, and landlords won't be able to pay their mortgage, taxes and employees.
  • It supports small business and nonprofit by strengthening the Paycheck Protection Program to ensure that it reaches under-served communities and nonprofits of all sizes and types - business and service providers on the front-line of the pandemic.

CARES Act Stimulus Package

The initial $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. It includes significant funding for the community development sector. 

NACEDA and our members advocated for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to provide adequate funds to underserved small businesses and nonprofits. View the NACEDA letter on PPP to Members of Congress.