$900 Billion Stimulus Package Signed – Includes Rent Relief
December 29, 2020
On December 27, President Trump signed into law a $900 billion COVID-relief bill. The 5,593-page bill covers a wide range of topics, from stimulus money to water infrastructure funding to the Dalai Lama. While you can find a comprehensive summary from NAR here and here, continue reading for a brief summary of the key provisions for REALTORS®.
Rent Relief Included
$25 billion is provided to states for rental assistance, with Alabama receiving at least $200 million. While the details on who is eligible appear to be left to the states, the bill does require states to prioritize low-income tenants. Of import for property managers and owners, the bill allows landlords to apply on behalf of tenants, and the money can be used to pay for rent and utilities. The details on this program for Alabama will need to be hashed out by the state government, but we do know that the program will run through September 30, 2022. Stay tuned for more information on Alabama’s rent relief program.
Eviction Moratorium Extended
As part of the rental relief program, the bill extends the CDC eviction moratorium through January 31, 2021. With the FHA extending its foreclosure moratorium through February 28, 2021, a further extension of the eviction moratorium past January is very possible.
Unemployment Benefits Extended
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program has been extended through March 14, 2021 and includes an additional $300 a week for 10 weeks. This program allows self-employed or independent contractors to receive unemployment benefits in Alabama and is administered through the Alabama Department of Labor.
Round 2 of Individual Payments
Individuals making less than $75,000 (according to their tax records in 2019) will receive direct payments of $600 along with $600 for each child under the age of 17. This means that a family of four with a household income of less than $150,000 will receive $2,400.
More Funds to Paycheck Protection Program
$284.45 billion is set aside for the renewal of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and $20 billion set aside for additional Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) grants. The bill also relaxed some parameters of the initial PPP and EIDL programs, allowing certain businesses to receive a second round of funds, repealing the requirement that businesses deduct the forgiven amount of an EIDL grant from the forgivable amount of the PPP loan, and allowing businesses to deduct business expenses paid with forgiven PPP loans.
The bill provides a slew of extensions for various existing tax provisions, including the deductions for energy-efficient upgrades to homes and businesses, the 100% deduction for business meals through 2022, and the mortgage insurance premium deduction through 2021.
The bill provides $7 billion for broadband access, with set asides of $286 million for minority communities, $300 million for unserved Americans and $3.2 billion for low-income citizens.