Press Releases

American Rescue Plan Provides Critical Support for Families Facing Housing Hardship During COVID-19 Pandemic

American Rescue Plan Provides Assistance for Renters, Homeowners, and Communities to Address Homelessness

Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) released information on how the American Rescue Plan helps combat housing insecurity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Nationally, one in five renters report being behind on rent.  In the Houston metro area, 42 percent of adults surveyed by the U.S. Census Bureau say they are behind on rent or mortgage payments and worry they face eviction of foreclosure in the next two months.  The Houston metro area also has the highest percentage of residents in the nation who face difficulty meeting daily household expenses

Homelessness in Texas increased by 5 percent in 2020 during the pandemic.  According to an annual count of Houston’s homeless population, 15 percent of people surveyed said they were without a fixed address because of the pandemic.  Many of them said they lost a job or hours at work, or were evicted due to the pandemic.  

“The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the very real challenges families in our community face, including high costs of housing, lack of affordable housing options, and homelessness,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher.  “With so many people in our area fearing they are close to foreclosure or eviction, the need for targeted assistance is real.  I am glad that among its many provisions, the American Rescue Plan delivers targeted relief to help protect against housing insecurity in our community and across the country.” 

The American Rescue Plan includes aid for millions of people who are struggling to pay their rent and avoid eviction, as well as resources to help communities address homelessness during the pandemic.

Support for renters during pandemic:

  • Emergency Rental Assistance Program$21.6 billion to fund rental assistance programs administered by states, territories, counties, and cities, including $305 million for U.S. territories, to help renters pay their rent and utility bills during the COVID-19 pandemic, and help rental property owners of all sizes continue to cover their costs.
  • Housing Choice Vouchers$5 billion for 70,000 new emergency Housing Choice Vouchers to transition people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, survivors of domestic violence, and victims of human trafficking to stable housing.
  • Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks)$100 million for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks) to enable housing counselors to respond to the surge of demand for services, which include foreclosure and eviction mitigation counseling, due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Support for people experiencing homelessness:

  • $5 billion for the Emergency Solutions Grants Program to enable state and local governments to finance housing and health-related services for the hundreds of thousands of people currently experiencing homelessness, including the acquisition of hotels and motels to serve as transitional and permanent supportive housing.

Support for homeowners:

  • $10 billion to states, territories, and tribes to address the ongoing needs of homeowners struggling to afford their housing due directly or indirectly to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing direct assistance for mortgage payments, property taxes, property insurance, utilities, and other housing related costs.

Support to ensure fair housing:

  • $20 million to ensure fair housing organizations have additional resources to address fair housing inquiries, complaints, investigations, and education and outreach activities, during or relating to the coronavirus pandemic.