Barickman: Emergency housing assistance bill does not prioritize ‘renters who have been impacted by COVID’ – As House Bill 2877, the COVID-19 Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program Act, is headed to Gov. Pritzker’s desk, many Republicans, including Sen. Jason Barickman, expressed objections that it won’t really benefit the right people needing help.
The bill that aims to distribute $1.4 billion of federal relief for emergency housing funds for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, is being thoroughly debated because of the unclear provisions regarding to whom it will be given.
“If you’re one of our constituents and you don’t live in one of these areas, you’re still broke, you’re still out of a job, you’re still in an eviction, you’re still getting kicked out of your home and you’re still getting kicked out of your apartment,” Barickman said. “So why is it that…we got COVID, who are we for? Why does this legislation prioritize not the renters who have been impacted by COVID, but discriminates (against) those renters based upon where they live?”
Before the bill was passed by a vote of 39 yeas to 13 nays, Barickman made a spirited argument against the bill stating that the bill leaves the question “Whether each of our constituents – who would otherwise be eligible for this – should be treated equally the same based on where they live.”
The Bloomington Republican also directed a reminder that Pritzker said we’re in this together “but what I see in a bill is something that says no we’re not and so I think it falls short of earning our support.”
HB2877 “Contains provisions for: the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance program; accessibility and transparency; process for further prioritizing applicants for financial assistance and housing stability services; and required notifications and correspondence.”
An amendment at the House Committee “Provides that any State agency administering the program shall provide rental assistance (rather than “program recipients with relief payments”) in an amount based on stated need rather than on a flat or fixed amount.”
Barickman: Emergency housing assistance bill does not prioritize ‘renters who have been impacted by COVID’