Democratic Municipal Officials Calls on Congress to Support Rental Assistance
The Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO) has formally called on Congress to enact emergency rental assistance in the next stimulus package. With over 21 million people unemployed due to COVID-19, the DMO recognizes that rental assistance is needed to avert a crisis-level nonpayment of rent scenario that will devastate residents, the rental housing industry and communities alike.
“While the coronavirus is a national pandemic, it is being felt at the local level,” said Barbara Moore, DMO executive director. “At a time when many are sheltered in their homes, we cannot afford to negatively impact the ability of property owners to deliver needed services to residents,” added Moore.
In a letter and supporting resolution, the DMO thoughtfully lays out its support of federal rental assistance. Citing the American Community Survey, of the 122 million U.S. households, 44 million are renter households with an annual median income of $41,000; making the rental population more likely to be financially disrupted by COVID-19.
“Many people who contribute to the economy have lost work during this crisis, making it all the more difficult to afford monthly rent,” stated DMO national president, Councilmember Scott Benson of Detroit. Benson noted that “this situation impacts both the renters and property owners in our communities, and direct federal assistance can prevent significant financial disruption for both groups.”
During a full meeting of the policy council, NAA and members of the rental housing industry presented the case for federal assistance. The industry is fortunate to have the support of an organization with the reach and respect of the DMO.
The DMO is a national association composed of mayors, city council members and municipal leaders from across the country. With over 6,000 active members and 30 state chapters, the DMO is affiliated with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and serves as its voice in local government. Notably, it is the fastest growing organization within the Democratic Party and the largest coalition of Democratic officials in the United States.