March 25, 2020

President Trump Signed Into Law $2 Trillion Stimulus Package

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Updated March 27, 2020

On March 27, President Trump signed into law the 3rd stimulus package – the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the CARES Act. The bill provides close to $2 trillion of relief for the millions of Americans and businesses impacted by the recent economic slowdown. Included in the legislation is $340 billion of emergency appropriations, with topline highlights including:

  • $117 billion for Hospitals and Veterans Healthcare
  • $45 billion for FEMA Disaster Relief Fund
  • $25 billion for Transit System
  • $16 billion for the Strategic National Stockpile
  • $15 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • $11 Billion for Vaccines, Therapeutics, Diagnostics, & other Medical Needs
  • $4.3 billion for the Centers for Disease Control
  • $1.5 billion for the Economic Development Administration (EDA)
  • $900 million for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

Enterprise is pleased Congress also included funding to assist the 11 million low-income Americans in this country living pay check to pay check, unsure of whether they will be able to afford their next rent or mortgage payment, as well as funding to provide shelter and temporary housing for the 550,000 people who experience homelessness on any given night. The deal includes the following affordable housing provisions:

  • $5 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
  • $4 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants
  • $1.25 billion for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance
  • $1 billion for Project-Based Rental Assistance
  • $685 million for the Public Housing Operating Fund
  • $300 million for Native American Programs
  • $65 million for Housing Opportunities for Person with Aids (HOPWA)
  • $50 million for Section 202 Housing for the Elderly
  • $15 million for Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities
  • $2.5 million for additional fair housing enforcement

While CDBG did not receive the $10 billion amount initially indicated by the Senate’s draft proposal, there are two separate pots states and localities will be able to draw on to address similar needs. A $150 billion relief fund that will be made available to States, Tribal governments, and local governments as well as the previously mentioned $45 billion Disaster Relief Fund.

In addition, the bill prohibits foreclosures on all federally-backed mortgage loans for a 60-day period beginning on March 18, 2020, and provides up to 180 days of forbearance, which may be extended for another 180 days, for the borrowers of a federally-backed mortgage loan who have experienced a financial hardship related to the COVID-19 emergency. It also provides up to 90 days of forbearance for multifamily borrowers with a federally backed multifamily mortgage loan who have experienced a financial hardship. Borrowers receiving forbearance may not evict or charge late fees to tenants for the duration of the forbearance period. And finally, the bill provides a 120 day temporary moratorium on eviction filings for properties assisted in any way by HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the rural housing voucher program, or the Violence Against Women Act of 1994.

Notably missing from legislation is funding for the HOME Program and Section 4 Capacity Building Program, both of which are proven conduits of assistance to housing and community development entities. Equally concerning is the lack of funding for Rural Housing Service (RHS) programs, even while Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies received large allocations. RHS programs help to ensure housing stability for the hundreds of thousands of vulnerable residents who live in their subsidized housing. It is essential that Congress take these programs into account as community members incomes are reduced or eliminated because of the anticipated loss of employment and lack of enough paid leave.

Also not included were ACTION’s asks related to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) program. Enterprise will continue to advocate for the inclusion of these additional programs when Congress begins to turn their attention towards phase four of the recovery.

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