Congress has voted to enact the American Rescue Plan and President Biden signed it into law today! The legislation includes nearly $50 billion in essential housing and homelessness assistance, including over $27 billion for rental assistance and $5 billion in new funding for states and cities to provide housing stability for tens of thousands of people experiencing homelessness.
The $27 billion for rental assistance, combined with the $25 billion provided by Congress last year and a separate $5 billion for utilities in the American Rescue Plan, can eliminate the over $50 billion of rent and utility arrears that renters have accrued during the pandemic and will enable longer-term housing stability for some renters. This success would not have been possible without your incredible advocacy and the unwavering leadership of congressional champions!
The $1.9 trillion relief package provides broad based relief. This new law will:
- Extend enhanced unemployment benefits through the summer.
- Give millions of people a desperately needed cash infusion of $1,400.
- Expand the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit to help low- and middle-income people.
- Fully fund vaccine distribution.
- Extend nutrition assistance for hungry children and families.
- Provide housing and utility assistance to keep people in their homes.
- And deliver aid to states, communities, tribes, and territories to cover safe education in the pandemic, maintain critical services and prevent job layoffs.
This new law will cut childhood poverty in half. This new law will provide a critical lifeline for millions of people and families who have lost jobs and wages during the pandemic. And, it is vital to fully vaccinating the U.S. population.
This week’s other big news was that Marcia L. Fudge was officially sworn in as the eighteenth Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
The long anticipated appointment of Congresswoman Marcia Fudge as HUD Secretary was approved Wednesday. Ms. Fudge has a strong track record of supporting anti-poverty legislation, and has especially expressed her determination to fight racist housing policy and create lasting solutions for homelessness.
The National Coalition for the Homeless congratulates Ms. Fudge on her appointment! We look forward to working with her administration to ensure that people who have experienced homelessness are key stakeholders in her work to end homelessness and housing discrimination.
Secretary Fudge shared remarks at her swearing in. Please see the remarks below.
A good home shapes nearly every part of our lives. It’s where we start and end each day. It’s where we raise our families and come together in times of joy. It’s where we find shelter and comfort during times of hardship.
The past year has reminded us just how important it is to have a safe and stable place to call home. But right now-for millions of Americans-that sense of security and peace of mind is out of reach.
Our country has an immense responsibility-and profound opportunity-to address the housing crisis facing so many people.
To provide relief for those struggling to pay their rent or mortgage as a result of the pandemic.
To ensure every American experiencing homelessness has a roof over their head.
To revitalize our communities-and help more Americans achieve their dream of homeownership.
To break down the barriers of injustice that still limit the futures of far too many young people.
Every community faces unique challenges that require its own unique solutions.
We all want and deserve the same basic things: a safe place to live and an opportunity to succeed with dignity, with grace, and with hope.
I’m Marcia Fudge-and I’m honored to serve as the 18th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
I am proud to join a group of public servants who work with compassion and determination to change the lives of those in need. And I cannot wait to get started.