Congressional leaders have completed negotiations on a large stimulus bill that will provide $900B in coronavirus pandemic relief, along with a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending package.
The relief measure, expected to be passed by the House and then the Senate as early as Monday, includes a number of provisions that will help various sectors of the real estate business — though it is missing key programs industry groups lobbied for.
At the heart of the bill is $300 added to weekly unemployment benefits through March 14, plus direct payments of $600 to most Americans. That will probably help some sectors of the real estate industry inasmuch as the cash helps people with paying rent or buying more from retailers. There will also be $300B for small business aid, along with cash infusions for schools, hospitals and vaccine distribution.
More directly for real estate, the bill provides $25B for rental assistance, a relief measure that apartment landlords have been begging for since the beginning of the crisis. Under the rent relief, households may receive assistance for 12 months, plus another three months if necessary. Most of the relief will be for households that are at or below 50% of their area median income or households with members who have been unemployed for 90 days or longer.