On Friday, May 15th, the House passed the HEROES Act, their version of a Phase IV package directed at aiding the COVID-19 pandemic response. Timeline and review of this proposal is pending, as leadership is still evaluating the economic impact of a re-opening. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated that it was highly likely that another rescue package would be undertaken, but that it would not resemble the $3 trillion HEROES House proposal. He also expressed that the next bill would not continue the additional $600 a week in unemployment as it does not encourage people to get back to work.
Housing is a key element of this larger legislation, Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Denny Heck (D-WA) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) proposed the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act to provide $100 billion in emergency rental assistance. If you are interested in supporting this bill, please contact your representatives. Visit GovTrack to find contact information for your representative.
If you would like to stay up to date with the National Low Income Housing Coalition's recommendations at the federal level, please visit their COVID-19 Advocacy and Updates page.
The National Multi-Family Housing Council has released a rent payment tracker that has data for rental payment activity since COVID-19's impact on the economy.
Here is a fact page on crisis funding and immigration status.
For all Tennessee related responses to COVID-19, we encourage you to visit the state website for announcements. Governor Bill Lee has formed an Economic Recovery Group to begin phase-in of economic activity in Tennessee.
Of the $150 billion in the CARES Act for Coronavirus Relief Fund distribution, the state of Tennessee is allocated to receive approximately $2.6 billion.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has released guidance for state and local governments on the use of CARES Act funds.
For all Chattanooga-related responses and resources to COVID-19, we encourage you to visit the city website.
CNE is partnering with Legal Aid of East Tennessee and local attorneys to provide free legal assistance to those facing eviction during the COVID-19 crisis. Free legal assistance may also be available for other legal issues. Please call 423-756-6271 to leave a voicemail with your name and a phone number where you can be reached.
The Chattanooga City Council approved a resolution to reprogram up to $600,000 of prior year’s CDBG funding to provide rental and utility assistance in response to COVID-19. They additionally approved a resolution to use $250,000 of THDA funding for the same purpose.
Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise was approved to facilitate the rental and utility assistance payments.
The City Council also approved a resolution to accept CARES Act funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development totaling $938,930.
For specific information on resolutions please reference the agenda, page 2, items D-H.
The National League of Cities, along with the Bloomberg Philanthropies, has a COVID-19 Local Action Tracker.
Of the approximate $150 billion in the CARES Act for Coronavirus Relief Fund, the state of Tennessee is allocated to receive approximately $2.6 billion. In most states, local governments with populations over 500,000 will be provided a portion of this money automatically. Hamilton County has a population of approximately 360,000, so protocol for funding is at this time undetermined. To learn more about how this dynamic impacts the local response to COVID-19, please see this TFP piece.
Hamilton County and City of Chattanooga poised to receive roughly $7 million of the $200 million local government fund created in 2021 budget, available July 1st.
CNE has instituted an eviction freeze through July 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe this is the compassionate action to take to ensure that our tenants who have lost their jobs or suffered other economic hardship during this time have shelter for themselves and family.
However, we encourage CNE tenants to make payment arrangements during this time as the missed rent payments will still need to be paid by August 1, 2020 unless payment arrangements have been previously approved.
As we learn more about COVID-19, CNE is considering a number of policies to advocate for on behalf of our city and its residents. To tell us directly what you believe is essential, please respond here. We will not respond to the surveys as a service provider. For resources and updates, please reference the information available throughout this section of our site.
Take Action Now
As we wait to better understand the resources available to states and municipalities for COVID-19, it is important that you act now and share what needs you and your family are experiencing.
To make your voice heard as these policy decisions are being made, please contact your elected representatives. To determine who your representative is, you can visit:
Leave a voicemail or send an email if you can’t speak to someone directly:
Hi, my name is ______ and I live in your district.
I am a “homeowner/landlord/renter” (pick what you are!)
I am calling to talk about how COVID-19 has impacted my housing situation.
[Insert your own brief story here.]
I am calling to ask you to consider this as you make funding decisions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thank you for your time and service.