Bailout for the American people: Rep. Ilhan Omar introduces Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act

"In 2008, we bailed out Wall Street. This time, it's time to bail out the American people who are suffering."

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Image Credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Many Americans are faced with housing instability and homelessness as the coronavirus pandemic continues to fuel economic uncertainty. On Friday, Rep. Ilhan Omar took action to “protect the health and economic security of the most vulnerable” with the introduction of the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act.

The bill “would constitute a full payment forgiveness, with no accumulation of debt for renters or homeowners and no negative impact on their credit rating or rental history,” Omar’s office summarized.

Endorsed by many progressive advocacy groups, the bill would cancel all rent and mortgage payment during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The legislation will establish a relief fund for landlords and mortgage holders to cover losses from the cancelled payments and create an optional fund to fully finance the purchase of private rental properties by non-profits, public housing authorities, cooperatives, community land trusts, and states or local governments—in order to increase the availability of affordable housing during this downturn.”

Co-sponsors of the bill include Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), Jesús García (D-Ill.), and Grace Meng (D-N.Y.).

“Congress has a responsibility to step in to stabilize both local communities and the housing market during this time of uncertainty and crisis,” Omar said. “In 2008, we bailed out Wall Street. This time, it’s time to bail out the American people who are suffering.”

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