Realtor® Efforts Help Secure Rental Assistance in COVID-19 Relief Legislation

WASHINGTON (December 22, 2020) - The National Association of Realtors® secured key victories in COVID-19 relief legislation that cleared the U.S. Senate & House of Representatives overnight, including various key tax extenders, additional support for the Paycheck Protection Program and funding for rental assistance. Roughly 38% of NAR's 1.4 million members own at least one rental property throughout the U.S.

"NAR has been one of the loudest voices in Washington advocating for rental assistance these past few months," said NAR President Charlie Oppler, a Realtor® from Franklin Lakes, N.J., and the CEO of Prominent Properties Sotheby's International Realty. "While Realtors® worked to ensure thousands of American families would not go homeless, it was clear that broad, ongoing eviction moratoriums were jeopardizing the very housing opportunities we were trying to protect.

"More than 40% of rental units nationally are owned by 'mom and pop'-operated small businesses, many of which have been struggling to pay their bills and keep a roof over their tenants' heads. Rental assistance helps stabilize that housing and keep families in their homes, and we're grateful that Congress could secure this and other critical relief measures in this legislation."

More specifically, the agreement:

  • Provides $25 billion to the states through September 30, 2022, for rental assistance and allows landlords to apply for funds on behalf of tenants.
    • Includes payments for rent as well as utilities and other expenses related to housing
  • Provides a new round of direct stimulus payments of $600 to most Americans
  • Extends all unemployment assistance
  • Provides hundreds of billions in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and for Economic Injury Disaster Loans
    • Allows certain eligible businesses to receive a second PPP loan
    • Creates a simplified forgiveness process for most PPP borrowers
  • Extends for five years the exclusion from income for mortgage debt forgiveness and permanently extends the energy-efficient commercial buildings deduction
  • Increases fair housing funding

In-depth analysis of these provisions created for Realtors® is available here: NAR's Federal Advocacy Responses to COVID-19.

The National Association of Realtors® is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.