Federal Update:

Senate Republicans released their Covid-19 economic relief proposal on Monday, kicking off what could be several weeks of negotiations for the next Covid-19 relief package. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has outlined the pillars of the relief proposal: a second round of stimulus payments; additional funds for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program; reduced supplemental federal unemployment benefits; and funding for reopening schools and colleges.

The legislation also contains emergency appropriations to support critical affordable housing programs. The package includes $2.2 billion for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance to maintain current Section 8 vouchers for low-income families who have experienced a loss of income due to the coronavirus, $1 billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund and $113.4 million for USDA’s rental assistance program.

The legislation also directs HUD to renew all projects with existing Continuum of Care grants expiring during calendar year 2021. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are scheduled to meet with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to discuss the proposal. Negotiations on the next federal relief package comes as the CARES Act’s supplemental weekly unemployment benefits lapsed over the weekend.

State Update:

Governor Jared Polis and the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) announced the Property Owner Preservation (POP) Program for rental assistance, resulting from HB20-1410, COVID-19-related Housing Assistance. This bill allocates $19,650,000 to the Housing Development Grant Fund administered by the Division of Housing within DOLA. These funds will be used to provide housing assistance, including rental assistance, mortgage assistance, and guidance on how to access other housing services to Coloradans facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more about the program at cdola.colorado.gov/rental-assistance. There, renters and landlords alike can find more information about how to qualify for assistance.