WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the ranking member of the Senate’s housing subcommittee, today spoke on the Senate floor to warn his colleagues of a looming foreclosure and eviction crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic fallout if Congress fails to act.

“[A]n impending storm … is brewing and headed our way. It will bring with it enormous financial pain. It will threaten public safety. It will make fighting the pandemic that much harder. And it will set back our nation’s economic recovery,” said Sen. Menendez. “If the Senate fails to respond to this looming crisis, Americans will needlessly suffer, families will be displaced, personal fortunes will be wiped out, and the scars will run so deep, it could take decades to heal the wounds.”

Sen. Menendez urged his colleagues to pass four separate pieces of legislation aimed at stabilizing the housing market and ensuring residents can remain safe and secure in their homes.

This week, he introduced the Coronavirus Housing Counseling Improvement Act to expand access to critical information, assistance programs and services for millions of families struggling to remain in their homes because of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic fallout. According to research, homeowners who receive counseling have a better chance at avoiding default, protecting their credit scores, reducing debt and securing mortgage modifications.

Sen. Menendez announced that he will introduce a separate bill, the Emergency Housing Assistance for Older Adults Act, which would provide $1.2 billion for two key HUD housing assistance programs in order to ensure that federally-assisted senior housing facilities have the necessary resources to effectively protect residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The senator has cosponsored the Housing Assistance Fund to provide $75 billion in targeted assistance to keep people in their homes while they search for new employment or wait to get back to work by helping residents pay the mortgage, utilities, and support to prevent eviction, delinquency or foreclosure. He is also an original cosponsor of the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act, which would provide $100 billion to help families pay rent and help property owners maintain safe and healthy housing.