BPC Action Applauds Reintroduction of the Eviction Crisis Act in Housing

BPC Action applauds Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO)Rob Portman (R-OH)Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Todd Young (R-IN) for working together to reintroduce the Eviction Crisis Act, legislation intended to improve data and analysis on evictions, reduce preventable evictions, and mitigate the devastating impacts of evictions on America’s families. 

The Eviction Crisis Act would create a robust “Emergency Assistance Program” to assist eviction-vulnerable tenants. Importantly, states could tap this new resource to transition the many emergency rental assistance programs created with COVID-related aid to a more permanent platform. Taking this step would advance 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, utility payments and other costs to help families on the brink of eviction. It would also respond to a central concern of BPC’s recently launched Housing Advisory Council—how to orient COVID-related emergency rental assistance programs to support long-term housing stability.   

After the loss of a job, the death or departure of a working household member, or the incurrence of major medical expenses, too many families experience unmanageable, short-term financial crises. These financial shocks can cause families to fall behind on their bills, be evicted, and experience homelessness or make multiple unwanted moves, triggering a cycle of poverty that is difficult, if not impossible, to escape. The Eviction Crisis Act would bolster programs 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 emergency rental assistance program, the Eviction Crisis Act would help policymakers obtain a fuller understanding of the eviction crisis by establishing a national database to track evictions and forming a federal advisory committee to develop recommendations for improved data collection. The legislation would also help fund efforts by state and local governments to use landlord-tenant courts and support enhanced legal representation for tenants facing eviction. 

The Eviction Crisis Act is a critical and cost-effective investment to more stably house America’s families and  promote economic opportunity. BPC Action is committed to helping this important bill become signed into law.