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McEachin: Small landlords need support in COVID-19 relief package

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Fourth District Democrat Donald McEachin is urging the Trump administration to protect small individual “mom-and-pop” landlords from financial instability due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic response.

In a letter, co-signed by 43 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. McEachin calls on President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to prioritize rental assistance for these small landlords.

“While we are appreciative of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) agency order on evictions to help keep families in their homes temporarily through January 2021, we worry that small individual “mom-and-pop” landlords, who are typically dependent on rental income and often lack access to credit, will struggle without federal financial support,” wrote the lawmakers. “We ask that you act swiftly to ensure these small landlords are not left financially depleted.”

While landlords who currently have active mortgages and rent out their properties have relief in the form of mortgage payment forbearance during the pandemic, individual landlords who have already paid off their mortgages, but are reliant on tenants paying rent, do not have many options for help at the federal level.

McEachin has heard from many constituents in this situation, worried that they may have to dip into their own savings or be forced to sell their rental properties without help.

This letter builds on calls from McEachin and his fellow members of Congress urging enactment of legislation, including the House-passed Heroes Acts, which included billions of dollars in emergency rental assistance and homeowners assistance, as well as an extension of the CDC moratorium on non-payment evictions to address housing instability.

“As we continue to work on additional COVID-19-related relief packages, we urge you to consider rental assistance programs—such as those included in the House-passed Heroes Act— to help small landlords,” the letter continued. “These programs will help families who would be saddled with unsurmountable debt when the agency order expires, while concurrently ensuring mom-and-pop landlords have the resources they need to maintain their rental properties without having to tap into their own savings.”

“For months, we have worked extensively with legislators at both the state and federal level to ensure that any relief afforded to tenants is also afforded to landlords,” said Beth Dalton, 2021 president of the Virginia REALTORS®. “Congressman McEachin recognizes that small mom and pop landlords, many of whom are REALTORS® or are represented by REALTORS®, have put their financial futures into these properties and, like so many tenants, have been ravaged by the health and economic fallout from the pandemic. We must continue to look for ways to insulate tenants and landlords from further financial unrest and we thank the congressman for his leadership to ensure safe, affordable housing remains accessible in communities across our state.”

augusta free press
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