MIL-OSI USA: House Financial Services Committee Advances Williams and Waters Bill to Expedite Rental Assistance


Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05)

WASHINGTON – This week, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) voted to advance three bills through the House Financial Services Committee, including legislation Congresswoman Williams co-led with House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) to expedite the delivery of emergency rental assistance provided by Congress through previous pandemic relief bills. 

The Expediting Assistance to Renters and Landlords Act of 2021 (H.R. 5196) will remove barriers preventing tenants from receiving assistance and allow landlords to directly apply for rental arrears after meeting certain requirements.

“As a child, my family didn’t always have much, but one thing we always had was a roof over our head,” said Congresswoman Williams. “Housing is a basic human right, but right now, too many of our neighbors are facing housing uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the tireless work of Chairwoman Waters, Speaker Pelosi, and so many of my colleagues to extend the CDC’s pandemic eviction moratorium in July, some members of Congress stood in the way. However, that did not stop Chairwoman Waters and me from working on the next steps to protect renters across the country still reeling from the pandemic.

“Last week, I joined the Chairwoman in co-leading the Expediting Assistance to Renters and Landlords Act, and I’m proud we have advanced it this week through our committee markup. This bill will ensure the rental assistance already provided by Congress—which has gone out too slowly in many localities—will get distributed efficiently. Now, it’s time to get this bill enacted into law to help folks get out of rental debt and stay in their homes.”

In addition to advancing the Expediting Assistance to Renters and Landlords Act, the Financial Services Committee also advanced other important pieces of legislation:  

  • The committee’s reconciliation legislation would provide $322 billion in funding for new and existing federal housing programs designed to provide a comprehensive response to address our nation’s urgent housing needs including the national eviction and homelessness crises–particularly among the lowest income families, people with disabilities, millennials, and people of color. It includes targeted funding streams for new construction and preservation of housing, rental and downpayment assistance, sustainable and resilient housing, fair housing enforcement, among other investments. 
  • The Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 2021 would provide a five-year reauthorization of Native American and Native Hawaiian housing programs. The bill includes several reforms to the programs, as well as a provision that would withhold funding from any tribe that illegally discriminates against descendants of Black Native American Freedmen in violation of 1866 treaty obligations.