Metro Council Members File Resolution asking Congress to fund Emergency Rental Assistance in future stimulus package
Louisville – Along with the public health toll, the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 has had a devasting effect on the Kentucky workforce. Social distancing and shelter in place mandates have left many unemployed, or severely underemployed, impacting their ability to meet financial obligations.
In an effort to assist renters, at a news conference on Monday, members of the Louisville Metro Council were joined by the Louisville Apartment Association to call on Congress to include Emergency Rental Assistance funding in the upcoming stimulus package.
“The Coronavirus is a national health crisis and the most damaging effects are felt at the local level. According to the Department of Labor, close to 700,000 Kentucky residents have filed for unemployment benefits in the past seven weeks. That is close to one-third of the entire state workforce faced with lost income,” said Metro Council President David James. “Because of that, we are asking that Congress prioritize Emergency Rental Assistance to help residents that have been affected by COVID-19. Many citizens have told me they fear becoming homeless when the Stay of Evictions expire here in Louisville in July. Help is needed from the Federal Government.”
James and several council members have filed a proposed Resolution which asks Congress to assist renters as they deal with the economic turmoil caused by COVID 19.
JD Carey, executive director of the Apartment Association of Kentucky and the Louisville Apartment Association, supports the Metro Council effort to formally communicate those concerns to Congress.
“For the past several weeks, the apartment industry has been on the front lines of this pandemic. Many Americans are in situations they have never imagined, relief measures are backlogged and overwhelmed but the bills still come in. People have lost their jobs, their livelihoods, and many are struggling. There is a lot of fear and property owners not only understand that, they empathize with it because they are experiencing those same fears. Property owners want to be able to provide relief to renters and many are trying every possible solution.” stated Carey.
Specifically, Carey pointed out that, “We have worked closely with residents that have been financially impacted by COVID-19. Many of our members have volunteered flexible payment plans, waiving fees and other administrative costs to assist residents in this time of need.”
However, as the health crisis lingers, Carey fears that more will be needed, “There is a cascade effects that is not limited to the apartment industry. If a resident cannot make rent, then the property owner cannot meet their financial obligations. These obligations are not limited to just the mortgage, but includes communitywide contributions like payroll for employees,
community maintenance and property taxes, to name a few.”
“I have seen firsthand what the coronavirus has done to the health of the community. Without some form of Emergency Rental Assistance from Congress, I’m afraid that our financial wellbeing will be irreparably damaged as well,” emphasized Councilman Scott Reed.
The Resolution calling for Congressional Action has been filed for first reading at this Thursday’s Metro Council meeting. The following Council members have signed on with President James and Councilman Reed as sponsors: Jessica Green (D-1), Barbara Shanklin (D-2), Barbara Sexton Smith (D-4), Donna Purvis (D-5), Paula McCraney (D-7), Brandon Coan (D-8), Mark Fox (D-13), Cindi Fowler (D-14), Kevin Triplett (D-15), Madonna Flood (D-24) and David Yates (D-25).
To see a copy of the Resolution go to:https://louisvilleky.gov/sites/default/files/metro_council/pdf_files/res...
The Louisville Apartment Association is a trade organization representing owners, operators, managers and vendors that service the rental housing industry consisting of nearly 65,000 rental units in Louisville Metro and surrounding areas. Louisville’s apartment industry provides homes for 117,000 residents and contributes $359 million to the economy annually.