September 2020 U.S. Poverty Laser Talks: Tell Congress to Pass COVID Relief Bill that Includes Rental and Nutrition Assistance

September 17, 2020

Prioritize Housing Stability for Low-Income Renters

Engage: The COVID-19 pandemic has made America’s housing crisis far worse. This is hitting families in our community, especially low-income Black renters, along with Indigenous families and other people of color, hard.

Problem:  While the recent national eviction moratorium helps, without funds to help renters get current on their rent, America will face a wave evictions when the moratorium ends in January.

Illustrate or Inform:  Millions of Americans have lost their jobs in this pandemic. As a result, they are struggling to pay for basic needs like rent. Economist Mark Zandi of Moody’s analytics estimates that “tenants already owe nearly $25 billion in back rent, which could reach $69.8 billion by the end of the year.” Furthermore, half of all U.S. landlords are small businesses who cannot meet their own financial obligations when no rent is coming in. Keeping low-income renters in their homes must be a national priority [include your own experience and/or why you care]. 

Call to Action: Renters and landlords cannot wait any longer for relief. Will you tell leadership to pass a robust COVID-19 relief bill that includes $100 billion in emergency rental assistance?

How can I follow up with you on this?

Helping Families Keep Food on the Table through SNAP

Engage: In the U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey from August 19-31, 22.3 million American adults reported that there was sometimes not enough food to eat the previous week.

Problem:  We have seen the long lines of families waiting up to get help from food banks, and this crisis is hitting people of color particularly hard — approximately 20 percent of Black families and 16 percent of Hispanic families with children reported food insecure in late August compared to 8 percent of White families.

Illustrate or Inform: We know access to food is critical, but many households have had to “cut back” on groceries to cover the costs of other necessities such as housing or prescription drugs. [If you have a story, share it here – or include more information about the need in your community/state]. As the nation’s leading anti-hunger program, an increase in SNAP benefits will help families put food on the table. It would also provide a needed boost to our local economy; SNAP generates $1.50-$1.80 of economic activity for every additional dollar spent.

Call to Action: Will you tell leadership to pass a robust COVID-19 relief bill that includes a 15 increase in the maximum SNAP benefit?

How can I follow up with you on this?


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