|Posted:||December 16, 2020 03:15 PM|
|From:||Senator Katie J. Muth and Sen. Nikil Saval, Sen. Steven J. Santarsiero|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Housing Security Bill|
|In the near future, we will be introducing legislation that would create a fair deferral process for mortgages and help keep Pennsylvanians in their homes, especially those who are facing dire financial situations due to COVID-19.
Housing is a human right, and the extraordinary crises engendered by the pandemic compel us to take extraordinary measures to guarantee this right. This Housing Security Bill increases protections for homeowners and renters at risk of foreclosures and evictions. For homeowners, it creates a process for mortgage deferrals that will not contribute to their financial burden. For renters, the Housing Security Bill encourages landlords who have received assistance to extend that support to their tenants. In short, this bill alleviates housing costs for both homeowners and renters so that all Pennsylvanians can weather the impact of COVID-19 with shelter and security.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pennsylvanians are facing a profound economic crisis. Layoffs and furloughs have robbed family-sustaining paychecks from Pennsylvania workers. Many, too, face added medical debt and caregiving expenses related to COVID-19. Thousands have been unable to pay their rent or mortgage for months. Thousands more will soon be unable to make those payments—especially if the federal moratoria on foreclosures and evictions expire. Because they continue to accumulate debt, an estimated 240,000 tenants may be evicted and even more homeowners face foreclosures. Put simply, they can be forcibly removed from their homes in the midst of a global health and economic catastrophe.
Ensuring housing for all during this pandemic has precedent around the country and throughout the Commonwealth. Washington, D.C. and Nashville have passed citywide mortgage assistance to stay foreclosures during the pandemic. Other municipalities, including many in Pennsylvania, have programs that alleviate housing costs for renters and homeowners. They share the belief that foreclosures and evictions in a pandemic erode public health. They displace families at a time when shelter offers a line of defense against the coronavirus. They exacerbate the tremendous burden placed on our public services that ensure the health, safety, and livelihood of Pennsylvania residents as they recover.
We need to act now. Please join us in supporting this Housing Security Bill that will help Pennsylvanians stay in their homes during this critical time.