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House Financial Services Committee examines role of housing, finance in racial equity

House Financial Services Committee examined the role of housing and finance in racial equity on Tuesday.

The Biden administration on Thursday extended the nationwide ban on evictions for a month to help millions of tenants unable to make rent payments during the coronavirus pandemic, but said this is the last time it plans to do so.

Dozens of members of Congress wrote to President Joe Biden and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calling for the moratorium to be not only extended but also strengthened in some ways.

The letter, spearheaded by Democratic Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Jimmy Gomez of California and Cori Bush of Missouri, called for an unspecified extension to allow the emergency rental assistance included in the American Rescue Plan to get into the hands of tenants.

Ending the assistance too abruptly, they said, would disproportionately hurt some of the minority communities that were hit so hard by the virus, which has killed more than 600,000 people in the United States. They also echoed many housing advocates by calling for the moratorium’s protections to be made automatic, requiring no special steps from the tenant to gain its protections.

“The impact of the federal moratorium cannot be understated, and the need to strengthen and extend it is an urgent matter of health, racial, and economic justice,” the letter said.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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