(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Ilhan Omar (D.-Minn.) is calling for a “massive grassroots uprising” to get Congress to order the cancellation of rent and mortgage payments during the COVID-19 crisis. She has also introduced legislation in Congress to accomplish that goal--and to freeze the value of rent payments for five years after they resume.
“Cancel rent and mortgage payments,” Omar said in a tweet on Tuesday that forwarded a tweet from Minnesota Public Radio.
“More than 3.4 million homeowners are temporarily skipping their mortgage payments because they’ve lost income during the pandemic,” said the MPR tweet. “Homeowners say that to catch up on payments, lenders demand big balloon payments they can’t afford.”
In another tweet sent out today, Omar said: “We are not lacking in resources—we are poisoned by greed. As millions of people are struggling to keep a roof over their heads, we need a massive grassroots uprising of #CancelRent and mortgages.
“Tell Congress to move the people’s agenda,” she said.
The tweet included a graphic promoting her bill, H.R. 6515, the “Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act.”
This bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D.-N.Y.), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D.-Mich.), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D.-Mass.), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D.-Wash.), Rep. Mark Pocan (D.-Wisc.), Rep. Veronica Escobar (D.-Texas), Rep. Jesus Garcia (D.-Ill.), and Rep. Grace Meng (D.-N.Y.).
The language of H.R. 6515 says it is a bill: “To suspend obligations of residential renters and mortgagors to make payments during the COVID-19 emergency, and for other purposes.”
“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the obligation of each tenant and household of a covered rental dwelling unit to pay rent for occupancy in such dwelling unit shall be suspended with respect to such occupancy during the COVID-19 suspension period,” says Omar’s bill.
It includes similar language for “mortgagors.”
The bill would also set up a fund under the federal Department of Housing and Urban development to have the federal government make the rent and mortgage payments to the landlords and mortgage holders.
But the bill additional sets up restrictions on landlords—including subjecting them to a five-year freeze on rents.
Under a section called “Fair Rental Requirements,” it says:
“The lessor the covered rental dwelling unit has made such certification to, and entered into such a binding agreement with, the Secretary as the Secretary considers necessary to ensure that during the 5-year-period beginning upon initial receipt by such lessor of payment under this section for such dwelling unit, such dwelling unit shall be subject to the following requirements:
- RENT FREEZE. – The monthly rent for the dwelling may not be increased from the amount of such rent charged as of. The date of the enactment of this Act.”