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Rental Assistance, Stimulus Checks Are on the Way

December 28, 2020

On Sunday night, President Donald Trump signed a $900 billion COVID relief package that authorizes rental assistance, stimulus checks to individuals for $600, loans for struggling small businesses, and more.

The president had delayed signing the bill for several days after Congress approved the relief package early last week. Trump had disagreed with extra unrelated COVID relief spending measures contained in the bill and had urged more money than $600 for individuals.

“I am signing the bill to restore unemployment benefits, stop evictions, provide rental assistance, add money for PPP, return our airline workers back to work, add substantially more money for vaccine distribution, and much more,” Trump said in a statement on Sunday evening.

The bill was also attached to a $1.4 trillion spending measure to keep the government running through September. Funding for the operation of the federal government would have run out at midnight on Monday without the approval of the measure.

The National Association of REALTORS® has applauded several items that will assist its members and help homeowners and landlords in the bill. NAR championed several provisions within the bill, including rental assistance. An updated FAQ for landlords and a quick reference guide are available.

“Through this bill, our members will continue to have access to unemployment and small business assistance,” Shannon McGahn, chief advocacy officer at NAR, said last week when Congress approved the bill. “But perhaps one of the biggest wins is rental assistance, which we have fought hard for since the last major COVID-19 bill was passed in April. It will bring instant relief to both mom-and-pop property owners and American families in danger of going over a financial cliff at the end of the year.”

The bill will bring $25 billion in rental assistance to states through Sept. 30, 2022, allowing landlords to apply for funds on behalf of tenants. It includes payments for rent and for other costs related to housing, such as utilities and similar expenses.

The new bill also extends the federal eviction ban through the end of January.

Also, the bill will provide an additional $284 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program and creates a more simplified forgiveness process for borrowers who take part in the loan program. One in five REALTORS® took out a PPP loan after Congress approved the program in the spring soon after the initial outbreak of the coronavirus in the U.S.

The relief package also provides up to $600 in direct stimulus checks to millions of Americans. Read more about the details of the bill at NAR.realtor.