Hassan bill takes aim at evictions
U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-NH, has introduced legislation with two colleagues that is aimed at addressing what they see as a national eviction crisis.
Along with Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., they are sponsoring the Prevent Evictions Act — which is backed by Matthew Desmond, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Evicted.” The bill would support solutions to keep families in their homes, including through landlord-tenant mediation and rent insurance programs.
“The lack of affordable housing is a wellspring for many other social problems, from poor health and family stress to poverty and educational inequality,” said Desmond in endorsing the legislation. “Millions of Americans are evicted from their homes every year, but this problem is utterly fixable. This bill would go a long way to reducing family homelessness and stabilizing communities.”
According to Hassan, “when a family is kicked out of their home because an unexpected expense prevented them from making the rent that month, the entire community — and economy — suffers. The Prevent Evictions Act would provide support to help landlords and tenants reach fair agreements that keep families in their homes.”
The Prevent Evictions Act would:
• Create a landlord-tenant mediation grant program to bring landlords and tenants to the table to find informal, mutually agreed upon solutions that keep tenants in their homes
• Provide grant funding for translators, ensuring that all individuals have the ability to participate
• Direct the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to study the potential for certain types of rent insurance to be cost-effective eviction mitigation tools
Hassan also is a co-sponsor of bills aimed at expanding affordable housing by strengthening the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit while continuing investments in affordable housing. Senator Hassan also joined in reintroducing the Rent Relief Act to create a new, refundable tax credit to provide relief to families, and the bipartisan Task Force on the Impact of the Affordable Housing Crisis Act, which aims to help policymakers better understand and respond to America’s housing affordability crisis by creating a bipartisan housing task force.