13 Jan BPC Action Applauds Eviction Crisis Act in Housing
BPC Action issued the following statement on the introduction of the Eviction Crisis Act:
BPC Action commends Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Rob Portman (R-OH) for their bipartisan collaboration to introduce the Eviction Crisis Act, which would direct federal resources to help families most at risk of losing their homes and prevent them from entering the homeless system.
For too many families, the loss of a job, the death or departure of a working household member, or a major medical crisis can lead to short-term affordability crises that quickly and traumatically undercut their stability, leaving some homeless and others consigned to making multiple moves. This can undermine educational achievement, create or exacerbate health problems, and destroy any chance of upward economic mobility.
The Eviction Crisis Act would establish a strong federal program to bolster emergency assistance programs as well as evaluate how different interventions work in providing timely assistance to those who need it the most and have no other options. The bill would deliver on a key recommendation made by BPC’s Housing Commission—the creation of a federal program to provide short-term, targeted funding for security deposits, back rent, temporary rental assistance, and other limited forms of assistance, such as utility payments.
The Housing Commission recognized that emergency assistance could combat housing instability and more cost-effectively prevent families from becoming homeless. The type of programs the Eviction Crisis Act will support will also help to reduce growing pressure on homeless shelters, lowering the number of temporarily displaced households seeking assistance and generating offsetting savings in programs serving these populations.
In addition to the bill’s grant program, the Eviction Crisis Act would help to fund efforts by state and local governments to use landlord-tenant courts and establish a database to track evictions in order to develop more informed housing policies.
This legislation represents a critical and cost-effective investment to more stably house America’s working poor and provide improved economic opportunity. BPC Action is committed to helping see this important bill and program through the legislative process.