The Biden administration has proposed the Renters Bill of Rights to protect renters and make rent prices more affordable. During the announcement, a blueprint of the proposal was introduced.On January 25, the U.S. President Joe Biden announced a new initiative to protect renters in the U.S. The initiative included practices to prevent renters from availing of housing with an excessive increase in rent. During the announcement, a blueprint for the “Renters Bill of Rights” was introduced. The blueprint laid out the principles of the federal government which included fair leases and access to safe, quality, and affordable housing. The White House says more than 44 million families or around 35% of the U.S. population live in houses for rent.
According to Nova, the COVID-19 pandemic indeed prompted renter protections and assistance. However, most of these are already discontinued by now. Advocates have long asked for the government to deal with the affordability crisis in rent. This is because almost half of the U.S. households in rental houses pay more than 30% of their income towards rent. Every year, around 900,000 households are evicted even before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
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Details on the Announcement
According to an article in the HUD Exchange, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and finance companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae announced that they will consider creating renter protections. These protections are expected to limit excessive rent increases at properties funded by federal mortgages.
On the other hand, as part of the White House’s initiative, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it will also consider taking action against unfair practices. These unfair practices include those that prevent customers from acquiring and retaining their houses. Incessant evictions and expensive application fees and security deposits are the results of these unfair practices.
Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also announced that it will consider requiring rental property owners to issue at least a 30 days notice before deciding to terminate the lease of a renter due to unpaid rent. The agency will also provide a $20 million budget for the Eviction Protection Grant Program. This program intends to provide legal assistance to renters with low incomes who are on the verge of being evicted.
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