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Waters Secures Emergency Rental Assistance and Support for CDFIs and MDIs in Bipartisan COVID-19 Relief Bill

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, made the following statement regarding the bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill.

“After much negotiation, I am very pleased that I have been able to secure $25 billion in emergency rental assistance, a one-month extension of the eviction moratorium, and $12 billion in funding for community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and minority depository institutions (MDIs) in the legislation. I would like to thank Ranking Member Patrick McHenry, Chairman Mike Crapo, and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown for working with me and my team to deliver this much needed assistance for America’s renters and support for CDFIs and MDIs.

“Since the beginning of this crisis, I have sounded the alarm about the urgent need for action to prevent an impending eviction crisis. This legislation makes a down payment on the assistance needed to help struggling families and individuals catch up on their rent and stay in their homes. While I expect that more will be needed, the $25 billion of relief I secured in this bill is critical and historic.

“The extension of the eviction moratorium will also ensure that families who are behind on their rent are not facing eviction on January 1. However, I do believe that a longer moratorium will be needed and call on President-elect Biden to use his executive authority to further extend this moratorium once he is sworn into office.

“This bill also includes many of the legislative reforms from my bill, the Promoting and Advancing Communities of Color Through Inclusive Lending Act, which was designed to provide a boost to our nation’s CDFIs and MDIs. I would like to thank Senator Warner for his advocacy for my legislation on the Senate side and his commitment to this issue.

“For decades, I have worked to help our nation’s minority depository institutions and community development financial institutions. CDFIs and MDIs are critical sources of capital and investment for our nation’s low-income communities and for communities of color and they need additional resources and tools to help them to support the communities they serve.

“After big banks funneled Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds to their large business clients in the first round of the program, I fought to ensure that MDIs and CDFIs had a meaningful opportunity to participate and provide funds to low- and moderate-income communities and communities of color, which have been hit the hardest by the pandemic and its economic impacts. The $12 billion in funding in this bill will allow CDFIs and MDIs to continue to support those communities and help them to recover from this crisis.

“I am also very pleased that this bill contains additional direct stimulus payments for families and individuals and funding for unemployment insurance, as I have advocated for. While more relief is needed, the funding in this bill is absolutely critical.”

See here for a one pager on the emergency rental assistance and eviction moratorium provisions in the bill.

See here for a one pager on the provisions providing emergency support for CDFIs and MDIs in the bill.

Chairwoman Waters has led efforts to provide emergency rental assistance during the pandemic crisis, and expand opportunities for CDFIs and MDIs to participate in pandemic relief programs.

Efforts to Provide Emergency Rental Assistance

In March, Chairwoman Waters introduced legislation to provide a comprehensive stimulus and public policy response to the coronavirus pandemic, including provisions to provide emergency rental assistance.

In May, Chairwoman Waters and Congressman Denny Heck (D-WA) introduced the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act, legislation to authorize $100 billion for an Emergency Rental Assistance program to help families and individuals pay their rent and utility bills and remain stably housed during and after the COVID-19 crisis. The legislation passed the House in June as part of the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020 (H.R. 7301). Elements of the bill were also included in the Heroes Act and are included in the new compromise legislation.

Efforts to Support CDFIs, MDIs and the Communities they Serve

At the beginning of the 116th Congress, Chairwoman Waters created the Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion, to prioritize the Committee’s efforts to support communities of color.

In March, Chairwoman Waters introduced legislation to provide a comprehensive stimulus and public policy response to the coronavirus pandemic, including provisions to support for CDFIs and MDIs.

In April, Chairwoman Waters called on the Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration (SBA) to expand Paycheck Protection Program opportunities for CDFIs and MDIs, and followed that up with a joint letter with other Democratic leaders urging Treasury and SBA to take a series of steps to improve access for CDFIs and MDIs.

Also in April, Chairwoman Waters and Small Business Committee Chairwoman Velázquez worked to secure $60 billion in funding for our nation’s CDFIs, MDIs, community banks, credit unions, certified development companies and microlenders to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

In August, Chairwoman Waters introduced the Promoting and Advancing Communities of Color Through Inclusive Lending Act which would build on the Committee’s work to support CDFIs and MDIs and help to increase affordable lending in minority communities, including to small businesses and minority-owned businesses, which have been hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The Heroes Act (H.R. 925) included key elements of Promoting and Advancing Communities of Color Through Inclusive Lending Act.

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