Rep. Ilhan Omar On Rent And Mortgage Cancellation

This past Thursday, Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota brought back up a bill to cancel out mortgage and rent payments and charges nutil 2022. She cited the still lingering Covid-19 pandemic as reason enough for the piece of legislation.

In a press release from Omar’s office, she said the bill would “institute a nationwide cancellation of rents and home mortgage payments through the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.” It would set in place “full payment forgiveness,” and would not cause additional financial debt for the renter or homeowners. Also, it goes on to state that it would not have a negative effect on the renters’ or homeowner’s credit rating or rental history.

The bill would supposedly “establish a relief fund” for mortgage holders and landlords to offset any financial deprivation they would incur due to the canceled payment of their tenants. Additionally, the bill would make a voluntary “buyout fund” that would finance in full “the purchase of private rental properties by non-profits, public house authorities, cooperatives, community land trusts, and states or local governments — in order to increase the availability of affordable housing during this downturn.”

Relieving renters and homeowners of their housing payments has been a top priority for Omar. This bill was originally introduced last April where is did not receive a vote as the Senate was Republican-controlled. It was brought up again this past December and Omar was able to start gathering support for the concept at the Covid-19 case numbers were reaching a peak in the United States.

This past Thursday when Omar Discussed the bill, she noted that while housing opportunities were a problem before the pandemic started, the burden of the past year has exacerbated the issue. Omar noted that the current $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package “extends the national rent moratorium,” but also stated that it is “not a long-term solution.”

“The people across this country will be forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars in back rent when it ends,” she added. “In some cases, local governments are allowing evictions to continue despite the moratorium. In other cases, landlords are going bankrupt due to the lack of income.”

“The solution is to cancel rent and mortgage payments,” she concluded, clarifying that the act would permanently cancel all rent and mortgage payments until April 2022.

The bill is currently co-sponsored by Reps. Alan Lowenthal, Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D., Mark Pocan, Barbara Lee, Raúl M. Grijalva, Mondaire Jones, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Jesús G. “Chuy” García, Ayanna Pressley, Pramila Jayapal, Bennie G. Thompson, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Nydia M. Velázquez, Rashida Tlaib, Yvette D. Clarke, Adriano Espaillat, Frederica S. Wilson, Jan Schakowsky, James P. McGovern, Jimmy Gomez, André Carson, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jerrold Nadler, and Cori Bush.


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