Rush Introduces Legislation to Protect Homeowners, Tenants During Coronavirus Pandemic

Apr 14, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush introduced H.R. 6492, the Ensuring Homeowner and Occupant Monetary Encouragement and Stability (Ensuring HOMES) Act.  This bill would require that all mortgage payments deferred due to the COVID-19 national emergency are not due to be paid back until the end of the loan rather than the end of the deferral period.  This bill would also incentivize landlords to waive rent for their tenants, extend leases until after the emergency period, and put a moratorium on evictions in exchange for a quarterly forgivable loan from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“While the CARES Act has assisted many homeowners, it has unfortunately left many of my constituents, as well as other countless Americans across the nation, without the appropriate financial assistance they need during these unprecedented and perilous times,” Rep. Rush.  “As it stands, the CARES Act only defers loan payments for federally-backed mortgages, which means homeowners with other types of loans could be expected to pay back those deferred loans immediately following the COVID-19 emergency.  That expectation is a fantasy for most homeowners, especially the millions that are currently unemployed.

“The Ensuring HOMES Act would correct this by requiring that these deferred loans do not have to be paid back until the end of the loan period, giving homeowners adequate time to get back on their feet.  Through this increased flexibility as well as the creation of a forgivable loan program for landlords who waive rent, this legislation would incentivize and enable landlords to waive rent for their tenants and extend leases until we are on the other side of this emergency. The legislation would also put a moratorium on evictions for landlords who take out these forgivable loans from HUD.

“Homeowners represent an irreplaceable part of the American economy, and we must do everything we can to ensure that they have the resources they need to bounce back following this pandemic.  We must also ensure that homeowners — and tenants — have every tool at hand to maximize their financial stability during this national emergency.”

The Ensuring HOMES Act would apply to both principal and interest payments on residential mortgage loans.