As you may be aware, Congress has passed a $900 billion stimulus bill that will provide direct payments and additional unemployment benefits to struggling Americans and badly needed funds for housing providers and small businesses, including REALTORS®. The bill now awaits the president’s signature.
C.A.R. has advocated for many of the provisions that would provide meaningful relief to REALTORS® including extensions of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits and additional forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The law will also provide direct payments of $600 to Americans and rental assistance.
Below is a summary of the key points that impact REALTORS®:
Unemployment Benefits and Direct Payments
- Allows an individual to receive unemployment benefits (traditional or PUA) for up to 50 weeks, through March 13, 2021, in California.
- Provides an additional $300 a week in federal unemployment benefits for individuals receiving PUA or traditional unemployment compensation for 11 weeks, beginning December 27, 2020, and ending March 13, 2021 in California.
- Provides a one-time direct payment of $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 and $1,200 for couples making up to $150,000, as well as an extra $600 per eligible child dependent. Payments are expected to begin rolling out before the end of the year but will take time to get to all eligible recipients.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
- Provides an additional $284 billion for PPP loans.
- Allows certain eligible businesses to receive a second PPP loan of up to $2 million. To qualify for a “PPP second draw,” businesses, independent contractors and other self-employed persons must have 300 or fewer employees, have used or will use the full amount of their first PPP loan, and be able to demonstrate at least a 25 percent reduction in gross receipts in any quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019.
- Creates a simplified forgiveness process for PPP loans up to $150,000.
- Allows use of PPP funds to cover purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for employees and certain other expenses not eligible for the first round of PPP loans.
Eviction Moratorium & Rental Assistance
- Provide $25 billion to states and local governments for rental assistance.
- Allow landlords to directly apply for the funds.
- Extend the CDC’s eviction moratorium through January 31, 2021. California’s eviction moratorium already extends through January 31, 2021, so REALTORS® should see little effect from this provision.