In light of the ongoing economic hardships endured by both renters and leasers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DMO has approved the following sample resolution calling upon the federal government to provide aid to those in the renting market. We encourage you to not only pass this resolution in your own municipality, but send it to your federal representatives. DMO will continue to support you in calling upon the federal government to provide direct financial assistance to cities.
Councilmember, Philadelphia, PA
CITY/TOWN OF <INSERT MUNICIPALITY>, <INSERT STATE>
RESOLUTION CALLING UPON PRESIDENT BIDEN AND THE U.S. CONGRESS TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE TO THE RENTAL HOUSING COMMUNITY
WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively impact all aspects of our daily life; and
WHEREAS, to protect public health and slow transmission of this highly contagious communicable virus, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local departments of public health have issued various orders to close or limit a wide range of businesses and economic activity, causing widespread unemployment; and
WHEREAS, individuals exposed to COVID-19 may be temporarily unable to report to work due to illness caused by COVID-19 or quarantines related to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, individuals directly affected by COVID-19 may experience loss of income and expensive health care and medical coverage making it impossible to fulfill their rent payment obligations; and
WHEREAS, the inability of renters to pay their rent directly impacts the nation’s housing providers who depend on rent payments to make their mortgage and insurance payments, maintain their apartment buildings, pay their utility and refuse removal bills, and meet their property tax obligations that fund our community services; and
WHEREAS, the majority of our nation’s housing rental stock is owned and maintained by small and mid-sized housing providers who lack the reserves to absorb any loss of monthly rental income; and
WHEREAS, since the beginning of the pandemic, many housing providers have worked closely with their residents by creating flexible rent payment plans, waiving fees and connecting residents with social services; and
WHEREAS, state and local governments have created rental assistance programs to assist renters and housing providers make ends meet; and
WHEREAS, in recognition of the impact on housing of this public health crisis, the United States Congress has approved $25 billion in direct emergency rental assistance; and
WHEREAS, these efforts do not begin to address the housing crisis facing the nation as ten million renters were projected by Moody’s Analytics to owe over $57 billion in back rent in 2020 alone; and
WHEREAS, specific and targeted federal assistance is needed in the areas of short-term Emergency Response, mid-term Recovery, and long-term planning to Rebuild our nation’s communities; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED that we, the Mayor, and the City/Town Commission/Council of the City/Town of <Insert Municipality>, <Insert State>, call upon President Joseph R. Biden and the United States Congress to employ the full weight of the federal government to assist the rental housing community by incorporating the following policy priorities:
- Short-Term Emergency Response
- Provide assistance to residents that have been financially impacted by the virus,
- Provide additional allocations to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program to fill the assistance gap and respond more effectively to the outstanding need, and
- Promote flexible policies that enable grantees to widely and efficiently distribute rental assistance to all who are in financial need.
- Mid-Term Recovery
- Transition from early pandemic emergency response to a deliberate and sustainable recovery plan that provides resources to impacted businesses and residents, and
- Promote policies that continue to narrowly target and better assist those with enduring and demonstrable financial need, and
- Fully fund existing programs, such as the HUD Section Housing Choice Voucher, to fund long-term housing assistance.
- Long-Term Rebuilding
- Extend the “Build Back Better” initiative to the production of rental housing, with a focus on affordable, workforce and middle market housing, and
- Expand federal infrastructure priorities to drive new investment in rental housing, including affordable, workforce and middle market housing, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a suitable copy of this resolution be presented to President Joseph R. Biden; the Honorable Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi; the Honorable Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer; and the members of the <Insert State> congressional delegation.
Adopted by vote of the City/Town Commission/Council of the City/Town of <Insert Municipality>, <Insert State>, on the <Insert Date> day of <Insert Month> 2021.
City/Town of <Insert City>, <Insert State>