The National Housing Conference today called on Congress and the Trump administration to institute a streamlined housing voucher program to support renters who lose their jobs for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We need to immediately streamline and reform the housing voucher program so it can provide support to all of those who are impacted by this crisis, and allow landlords to take the vouchers without bureaucratic red tape or regulatory risk for as long as the national interest requires,” said David M. Dworkin, president and CEO of the National Housing Conference.
“Vouchers should be available online and available to renters who lose their jobs as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19.” Dworkin said. “An out of work carpenter is no less deserving of federal support than an out of work minimum wage dishwasher.”
“We must treat this crisis holistically. Helping renters while putting apartment owners out of business is not in anyone’s interest,” Dworkin said. “We urge that rental vouchers be immediately available to everyone who applies for unemployment insurance.”
“The suspension of foreclosures and evictions announced by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and HUD are critical first steps in addressing the catastrophic impact of this pandemic, much of which we have not even begun to experience. But we need to be thinking past the immediate need, so we prepare for all of the downstream impact, including the safety and soundness of the financial system, the viability and health of the multifamily rental industry, and the ability of renters and homeowners to continue to socially distance themselves at home.”
About NHC: The National Housing Conference has been defending the American Home since 1931. Everyone in America should have equal opportunity to live in a quality, affordable home in a thriving community. NHC convenes and collaborates with our diverse membership and the broader housing and community development sectors to advance our policy, research and communications initiatives to effect positive change at the federal, state and local levels. Politically diverse and nonpartisan, NHC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.