Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarMellman: Party brand vs personal brandBiden’s political misfire on the COVID-19 relief bill Omar: ‘Disappointing’ that we’re ‘sending money to less people than the Trump administration’MORE (D-Minn.) on Thursday introduced for the second time a bill that would guarantee full payment forgiveness on rent and home mortgage payments throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the bill, titled the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act, there would be no accumulation of debt for renters or homeowners, as well as no negative impact on a persons credit rating or rental history.

The legislation also calls on the Department of Housing and Urban Development to establish and oversee a Landlord Relief Fund, to cover any losses landlords would receive as a result of the payment cancellations. 

Omar under the legislation also hopes to increase the availability of affordable housing by creating an optional buyout to enable the purchase of private rental properties by non-profits, public housing authorities, cooperatives, community land trusts, and states or local governments. 

Omar said Thursday while introducing the bill along with some of its more than 20 co-sponsors that the country is facing an unprecedented crisis that has put millions of Americans at risk of housing instability and homelessness. 

To avoid an even larger crisis, we must cancel rent and mortgage payments during this pandemic, the Democratic congresswoman added. This isnt a radical idea. Its what is needed to prevent an even bigger crisis.

The Minnesota congresswoman added that while President BidenJoe BidenManchin cements key-vote status in 50-50 SenateThe Memo: How the COVID year upended politicsPost-pandemic plans for lawmakers: Chuck E. Cheese, visiting friends, hugging grandkidsMOREs sweeping $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, dubbed the American Rescue Plan, extends the national rent moratorium, it is not a longterm solution.

People across this country will be forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars in back rent when it ends, she explained. In some cases, local governments are allowing evictions to continue despite the moratorium. In other cases, landlords are going bankrupt due to lack of income. 

Omar first introduced the legislation in April 2020 as the pandemic first hit the country, spurring a financial crisis with widespread job losses and drops in income that put a strain on individuals attempting to meet rent and mortgage payments, as well as other costs of living. 

However, the bill, which was introduced when Republicans still controlled the Senate, never received a vote. 

Omar and the legislations cosponsors, including Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyWe must decolonize our global health systems It’s time to repeal the Helms AmendmentHouse Democrats push to create public reminder of Jan. 6 riotPressley says image of Black custodial staff cleaning up Capitol after Jan. 6 riot ‘haunts’ herMORE (D-Mass.), argue the bill is as crucial as ever.

With the economic impact of this pandemic worsening and the threat of eviction and homelessness looming large for families nationwide, we must take every measure possible to keep families safely housed, forgive all rental debt, and ensure that the credit scores of hard hit families are not forever tarnished, Pressley said in a statement Thursday. 

Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalPost-pandemic plans for lawmakers: Chuck E. Cheese, visiting friends, hugging grandkidsJayapal asks for ethics investigation into Boebert, Gosar, BrooksFrustrated progressives on relief package: ‘We’ll take the win’MORE (D-Wash.), chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in a statement in support of the bill, It is not enough to sit back and just hope that a patchwork of eviction moratoriums keep families in their homes; we must cancel rent and mortgage payments during this crisis because housing is a human right during a pandemic and always.