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NAA Response to the introduction of the HEALS Act

COVID-19 Resource Center ,

From the National Apartment Association


Update: 7/31/2020

Dear NAA Members,

Earlier this week, we alerted you to the introduction of the HEALS Act in the U.S. Senate. Congress is now working to reconcile the HEALS and House-passed HEROES Acts to create the final COVID-19 relief bill of the year.

The National Apartment Association (NAA) has reviewed the HEALS Act and an industry-specific analysis is available for member review here.

Of utmost importance, the HEALS Act does not contain an extension of the federal eviction moratorium. However, the bill also lacks emergency rental assistance. This is in stark contrast to the HEROES Act, which contains a protracted eviction moratorium extension and robust rental assistance.

While nothing in the bill can be considered final, negotiations continue as Congress tries to bring additional COVID-19 relief to the country and our businesses. They need to hear how their decisions now will affect the apartment industry – now and in future – and ripple throughout communities and economies nationwide. If you have not yet written to Congress, please click here to send a letter directly to your Representatives and Senators. It only takes a few moments to tell lawmakers we need emergency rental assistance and not an extension of the federal eviction moratorium. To those who have taken action and helped send more than 17,500 letters to Capitol Hill, thank you!

Stay healthy and well,

 

Robert Pinnegar, CAE
President and CEO


Posted: 7/28/2020

Dear NAA Members,

Late yesterday, Senate Republicans released the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act, a package of bills that serves as the starting point for congressional Republicans and the White House in ongoing negotiations surrounding the next—and final—federal COVID-19 relief bill in 2020.

Importantly, the Senate’s HEALS package does not include an extension of the CARES Act federal eviction moratorium, nor does it include dedicated rental assistance funding.

The National Apartment Association (NAA) is examining the Senate package and will provide detailed analysis later this week. However, initial review found the following provisions of importance to the industry:

  • Extension of supplemental unemployment benefits, reduced from those provided by the CARES Act;
  • Additional stimulus checks for qualifying households;
  • New liability protection for businesses against frivolous lawsuits based on COVID-19 exposure;
  • An enhanced employee hiring and retention payroll tax credit and a new refundable payroll tax credit for “qualified employee protection expenses;”
  • Improvements to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including additional monies for second loans and an extension of eligibility to some 501(c)(6) organizations (with no change in eligibility for multifamily firms);
  • $113 million in funding for the Rural Rental Assistance Program; and
  • $2.2 billion in funding to maintain assistance for households that currently participate in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.

The package is markedly different from the House-passed HEROES Act, which passed the House along party lines in May and encompasses the Democrats’ policy priorities. The HEROES Act includes $100 billion in rental assistance, but it also requires a 12-month extension of the federal eviction moratorium that would decimate the rental housing industry and devastate communities across the country. It is important to remember that each bill is a starting point for ongoing negotiations and nothing can be taken as final at this point.

Debate on the final package will continue over the coming days as Congress reconciles these competing, partisan bills. NAA continues to press key lawmakers and the Administration to provide robust emergency rental housing assistance and emphasize that extending the federal eviction moratorium is not the answer.

All indications are that this will be the last relief package of the year, so contact your members of Congress TODAY before it’s too late. Tell them to pass emergency rental assistance and oppose the eviction moratoriums!

As always, thank you for all that you do for the apartment industry.

Stay safe and healthy,

Robert Pinnegar, CAE
President and CEO