Flagstaff Business News
Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema and a group of Senators from the Banking Committee introduced legislation providing a new $75 billion Housing Assistance Fund to help everyday Arizona families afford rent and mortgage payments during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I hear directly from everyday Arizonans worried about their rent and mortgage payments during this ongoing public health crisis. Our bill will help ensure Arizonans can keep roofs over their heads and focus on staying healthy and safe during this uncertain time,” said Sinema.
Sinema’s new Housing Assistance Fund builds off of the success of the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF), which provided funds to state housing finance agencies to provide targeted foreclosure prevention assistance to households and neighborhoods in states hit hard by the economic downturn. Sinema’s Housing Assistance Fund expands this model to provide a flexible source of federal aid to all state-level Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs), like the Arizona Housing Finance Agency, to keep people in their homes. HFAs can use federal funding to help Arizona families remain in their homes while they search for new employment or wait to get back to work. Financial assistance could go toward mortgage payment assistance; utility payments; and other support to prevent eviction, mortgage delinquency, default, or foreclosure, or loss of utility services.
In the recent Congressionally-approved coronavirus package, Sinema helped secure $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $60 billion for smaller, disadvantaged businesses, $60 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and grants, $75 billion for health care providers, and $25 billion for testing, including $11 billion directly to states. Sinema also helped secure a number of priorities in the sweeping coronavirus-response CARES Act law, including a $150 billion relief fund for state, local, and Tribal governments, $55 billion more in investments in hospitals and health care workers, and an increase in unemployment benefits. Sinema also recently wrote an op-ed outlining Arizona needs she is working to include in the next coronavirus-response legislation.
Sinema has also added a resources page to her website, www.sinema.senate.gov/corona, for Arizonans looking for the latest information on coronavirus.