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Supporting Eviction Relief in Covid Package

Floor Speech

Date: Dec. 18, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. SCANLON. Madam Speaker, I rise in support today of eviction relief, which we expect to see included in the COVID package we vote on soon.

While we need to do more, this bill provides a meaningful start to addressing the eviction crisis caused by the pandemic. In Pennsylvania alone, nearly one-quarter million households are behind on their rent and facing the real threat of eviction.

This bill will allow, as an authorized administrative expense, funds to be sent to civil legal aid organizations to help keep people in their homes. Under this crucial legislation, legal aid organizations, including faith-based groups, can represent tenants in eviction cases, improve access to utilities, and ensure housing conditions meet necessary standards.

Rental assistance alone will not help the thousands of people facing eviction; families often need access to legal advice to protect their rights. Legal counsel should not be a privilege saved for the wealthiest in our country. It is a basic necessity for navigating the difficult problems facing Americans who are on the bottom rungs of our economy.

I will continue advocating for the families hardest hit by the COVID pandemic, and I thank my colleagues for their hard work on this legislation.

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