From: The Honorable Raul M. Grijalva
Sent By:
Jose.Miranda6@mail.house.gov

Date: 4/3/2017

Deadline for Originals: Noon, Monday April 3, 2017 

114th Congress Cosponsors (10): Andre Carson, Yvette D. Clarke, Lacey Clay, Steve Cohen, John Conyers, Jr., Al Green, Alcee L. Hastings, Marcy Kaptur, Barbara Lee, Eleanor Holmes Norton

Current Cosponsors (10): Andre Carson, Yvette D. Clarke, John Conyers, Jr., Dwight Evans, Sheila Jackson Lee, Marcy Kaptur, Barbara Lee, Grace F. Napolitano, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Jamie Raskin

Dear Colleague,

While we have made great strides since the foreclosure crisis, steps must be taken to ensure families are protected in future or ongoing hard times. The Right to Rent Act (H.R.
4623
 – 114th) is an alternative to having underwater homes vacated when homeowners are faced with foreclosure; instead it provides relief by allowing middle-income homeowners to stay in their homes at a fair market rent.  Dear Colleague,

According to the Wall Street Journal:

“Though home prices are generally rising nationwide, lower-value neighborhoods have a concentration of homeowners who still
owe more than their homes are worth
. For the past few years, researchers have been following a related trend: The foreclosure crisis, while healing, is still ongoing in many parts of the country where homeowners are predominately black or populated
by other minority groups.”

The Right to Rent Act would allow a single-family homeowner who has resided in the home for at least 2 years (and purchased before December 31st, 2008 at or below the median price) to rent the home for up to 5 years. This allows families to stay
in the houses that are their homes, while lowering the family’s monthly housing costs, and allowing the mortgage holder to receive a fair-market return on their property.

Importantly, this provides a strong incentive for lenders to modify mortgages, including principal write-downs, to avoid becoming landlords.  If the lender chooses to pursue foreclosure, the family has 25 business days to enact their right to rent and stay
in their home as tenants. This will prevent the spiral of vacancy, social problems, crime and lowered property values that follow mass vacancies.

The Right to Rent concept has support from across the ideological spectrum.  The “Own-to-Rent” proposal was first suggested by progressive economist Dean Baker, and is also supported by conservative economists including American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
Fellow Desmond Lachman and former economic advisor to President Bush, Andrew Samwick.

The proposal is also backed by real-world results. A similar model has also been enacted on a limited basis by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and some fully private lenders.

If you would like to be an original cosponsor please contact:  Jose.Miranda6@mail.house.gov

 

Sincerely,

/s

Raúl M. Grijalva

Member of Congress