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Schumer seeks approval of coronavirus relief for renters, homeowners

Senator Chuck Schumer called on Senate Republicans to

Senator Chuck Schumer called on Senate Republicans to pass a coronavirus  stimulus package that would provide $100 billion in rent relief and $75 billion in aid to homeowners grappling with the economic fallout of the pandemic. Credit: Charles Eckert

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on Senate Republicans to pass a coronavirus  stimulus package that would provide $100 billion in rent relief and $75 billion in aid to homeowners grappling with the economic fallout of the pandemic.

"The rent is due, the utility bills are due too, and so many New York families are unable to make their payments,” Schumer (D-N.Y.) said at a news conference in Manhattan.

Schumer revived his call for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to schedule a vote on the so-called Phase 4 relief package. McConnell (R-Ky.) has yet to take up the $3 trillion Heroes Act passed by House Democrats last month that would provide financial aid to state and municipalities who have seen their budgets depleted responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

McConnell and President Donald Trump’s economic advisers have argued that lawmakers should wait to first analyze the financial impact of the more than $2 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress in March known as the CARES ACT.

Schumer said a new package with rental relief was needed “by the end of the month,” because the New York City region, the area hardest hit by COVID-19 in the country, “has more renters than any other city.”

Schumer said two-thirds of New York City residents — 5.4 million people — rent their homes.

Schumer said while there is a moratorium on evictions, many renters who have lost jobs and income during the pandemic will owe three months' rent or more by the time that moratorium is lifted.

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The Heroes Act, supported by Schumer and Senate Democrats, would also allocate $75 billion to homeowners to aid with mortgage payments, property taxes, property insurance, utilities and other housing related costs. Schumer’s office said the act would also extend the foreclosure moratorium for all homeowners for an additional six-months, and extend the forbearance period for up to a year.

“We need action on this now, before June 30th,” Schumer said.

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