Senator Harris Reintroduces “Rent Relief Act”

Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) recently reintroduced the Rent Relief Act. The legislation creates a new, refundable tax credit for households whose housing costs exceed 30 percent of their income, including rent and utilities. Unlike existing tax credits, Americans who qualify would receive the benefits every month. Harris was joined by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) in reintroducing the legislation.

Under the Rent Relief Act, a household’s credit would be determined by their income and the amount spent on housing costs (rent, utilities) in excess of 30 percent of their gross income. According to the Columbia Center on Poverty and Social Policy, the Rent Relief Act, which was first introduced in 2018, would reduce the poverty rate by as much as 2.4 percent, lifting 7.8 million Americans out of poverty, including more than 2 million children. Approximately 21 million Americans spend more than 30 percent of their earnings on rent, with a disproportionate and rising burden falling on families of color.

Companion legislation will be introduced in the House by Representatives Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), and Scott Peters (D-CA).