This week, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) is renewing her push for federal support to help keep Iowans in their homes during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by announcing that two funding priorities she championed last year will be considered as a part of the Financial Services Committee’s COVID-19 relief package.
“It’s impossible to self-quarantine or stay home when you’re sick if you don’t have one. You can’t work from home or attend a virtual class if there’s no roof over your head. Surviving in this pandemic and dealing with the economic fallout of this crisis starts with reliable, safe shelter,” said Rep. Axne, a member of the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance. “As we continue working towards a new COVID-19 package in this Congress, I’m renewing my push to get two of my funding priorities included that will help Iowans avoid eviction, foreclosure, and homelessness by providing them the advice and assistance they need to keep their homes. As a member of the Financial Services Housing subcommittee, I’ll be urging my colleagues to approve these two vital investments as part of our section of the next COVID-19 aid package.”
The package contains $100 million for housing counseling services through the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks). These housing counselors can provide advice for Iowans who need help with housing costs, loan modifications, and preventing foreclosure. This effort is modeled after a similar program created in 2008 to address the impacts of the global financial crisis, which provided housing counseling to more than two million Americans, who were then three times as likely to get loan modifications, and less likely to go into foreclosure.
Last year, Rep. Axne introduced the Coronavirus Housing Counseling Support Act to increase access to housing counselors during and after the pandemic.
Rep. Axne’s Protect Rural Renters Act was introduced last May to support rural renters struggling to cover their housing expenses through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Section 515 and Section 521 rental housing programs, which help elderly and low-income Americans in rural areas find rental housing and stay in their homes.
A similar provision was included in the package the Financial Services Committee will consider this week, appropriating $100 million for USDA rental assistance through Sections 514, 515, 516, and 521.
The two provisions are up for consideration at this Wednesday’s markup of Financial Services Committee legislation that will comprise the Committee’s portion of the next COVID-19 relief package.
The House Financial Services Committee markup is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. CT on Wednesday, February 10, 2021.