Congress Approves New COVID-19 Relief Package Including Rental Assistance

On Sunday, December 20, Congress approved a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill. The agreement includes rental relief, additional funding for loans, simplified forgiveness for SBA loans and direct payments to Americans. The full package includes the following:
  • A new round of direct stimulus payments of $600 to most Americans including dependents.
  • Extends all unemployment assistance, including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), through April 19, 2021, with a $300 weekly boost in payments through  March 14.
    • Unemployment benefits are extended to the self-employed.
  • Provides an additional $284 billion for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and $20 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) grants.
    • Allows certain eligible businesses to receive a second PPP loan.
    • Creates a simplified forgiveness process for most PPP borrowers.
    • Allows for deductibility of business expenses paid for with PPP funds.
  • Provides $25 billion to the states through Sept. 30, 2022, for rental assistance and allows landlords to apply for funds on behalf of tenants.
    • Includes payments for rent in arrears as well as utilities and other expenses related to housing.
    • Extends federal eviction ban through the end of January.
  • Provides $7 billion to states for broadband expansion, including $300 million for rural broadband.
  • Provides new money for schools and vaccine distribution.