The Emergency Rent Relief Act of 2020 is making its way through committees for a possible vote at the end of this week in the Legislature.
This legislation would provide tenants, who are unable to pay their rent due to the coronavirus, with rent vouchers.
Renters have held #CancelRent rallies across the state as the pandemic now is close to entering its third month and many have been out of work for almost that long. However, landlords are also struggling to pay their bills, with the number of non-paying tenants starting to grow.
This bill would provide a sort of balance between cancelling rent all together and making sure landlords are still getting paid. This voucher system would apply to renters whose rent is 30 percent of their income and who makes no more than 80 percent of the area's median income. For people who qualify, it would cover their rent from April 1 to July 1.
However, this program would cost around $100 million and be funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The Legislature is currently working on final drafts for over 30 bills they might possibly vote on at the end of the week. Lawmakers have not held session since they passed the budget in the beginning of April, but both houses are now holding session mostly remotely to wrap out the last week of the legislative year.