Proposals: Free Rent And $2,000 Monthly Stimulus Checks

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Who’s ready for another stimulus check?

Here’s what you need to know.

Stimulus Checks

The first round of stimulus checks have been sent and there’s already talk of the next stimulus payment. If you’re one of the 80 million Americans who has already received a stimulus check to help alleviate the financial burden of the COVID-19 pandemic, then there may be more financial help on the way. While there is no guarantee of any further stimulus, members of Congress already have proposed at least two legislative bills to put more money in your pocket.

1. $2,000 A Month Stimulus Payments

Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Ro Khanna (D-CA) introduced new congressional legislation – the Emergency Money for the People Act – to provide monthly cash payments to eligible Americans until employment returns to pre-COVID-19 levels. The Emergency Money for the People Act would work like this:

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  • $2,000 in cash per month guaranteed for at least six months.
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  • Cash payments would continue until the employment to population ratio for people ages 16 and older is greater than 60%.
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  • Cash payments would not count as income or impact your ability to qualify for an income-based federal or state assistance program.

Would You Be Eligible?

Here’s who would get a monthly cash payment under this legislative proposal:

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  • Every American adult age 16 and older making less than $130,000 annually would receive $2,000 a month.
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  • Married couples earning less than $260,000 annually would receive at least $4,000 per month.
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  • Qualifying families with children will receive an additional $500 per child, with funds capped at a maximum of three children.
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  • College students and adults with disabilities who are still claimed as a dependent would be eligible. The individual would receive the monthly payment and their parent or guardian would receive the dependent credit.
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  • Individuals who are unemployed or who had no earnings would be eligible.
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  • Individuals who were not eligible based on 2018 or 2019 tax returns could be eligible based on 2020 adjusted gross income by submitting two months of consecutive paychecks.

2. Free Rent and No Mortgage Payments

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has proposed new legislation called the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act. The bill would institute a nationwide cancellation of residential rents and mortgage payments through the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic. Here’s how the bill would work:

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  • full payment forgiveness of rent or mortgage payments for your primary residence
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  • no accumulation of debt for renters or mortgage borrowers
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  • no negative impact on credit rating or rental history for renters or mortgage borrowers

How It Works

As proposed, here’s how the proposed legislation works:

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  • Applies to all existing rent or mortgage agreement on a primary residence, including sub-leases and room rentals
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  • Applies to all renters and mortgage borrowers regardless of income, amount of rental payment or amount of mortgage payment.
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  • Would be retroactive to March 13, 2020 and last for one year.
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  • Renters and mortgage borrowers would be reimbursed for payments made in April 2020.
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  • Borrowers who owe a mortgage and separately rent a residence can either receive mortgage relief or rental relief, but not both.

Are landlords and lenders out of luck?

If all rent and mortgage payments are forgiven, what about landlords and lenders? How do they get paid? Omar proposes that:

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  • The federal government (through the Department of Housing and Urban Development) would create a relief fund for landlords and a relief fund for lenders by which they can be reimbursed for the lost rent and mortgage payments.
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  • Lenders and landlords must abide by a set of fair renting and lending practices for a period of five years.
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  • The federal government would create an affordable housing fund to finance the purchase of private rental properties by non-profits, public housing authorities, cooperatives, community land trusts, and states or local governments to increase the availability of affordable and low-income housing.

“Will these proposals actually become law?”

Will you get a second stimulus check? Some members of Congress and President Donald Trump have commented that a one-time payment of $1,200 may not be enough money for many Americans who have lost their job or faced financial hardship. That said, currently these legislative proposals are not law. First, it’s possible that Congress does not provide any further stimulus. Second, if Congress provides further stimulus, any stimulus payments or financial benefits may embrace all, some or none of these proposals.