President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to halt negotiations on a compromise stimulus bill until after the election likely killed any chance the White House and Congressional Democrats would reach a deal on federal aid to the government. tenants and owners.

“Nancy Pelosi asks for $ 2.4 trillion to bail out poorly run Democratic states, high crime, money that is in no way related to COVID-19,” tweeted Trump Tuesday afternoon. “I have asked my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we pass a major stimulus bill that focuses on hard-working Americans and small businesses.”

The announcement comes just as a compromise between the White House and House Democrats on rent relief seemed to be in the cards.

On Thursday, House Democrats passed a $ 2.2 trillion HERO Act, which includes $ 50 billion for emergency rental assistance; and $ 21 billion in funding for states and territories to spend to help homeowners.

Of that $ 50 billion in rent assistance, at least 40 percent should go to tenants earning 30 percent or less of their area’s median income, and 70 percent should be spent on those earning less than half of the rent. median income in their region. Renters representing up to 120% of the region’s median income would be eligible for assistance.

These income restrictions are identical to those found in the expanded $ 3.5 trillion HEROES law in May, which allocated $ 175 billion in assistance to tenants and landlords. The $ 71 billion in tenant and homeowner assistance offered by Democrats is still too rich for many Congressional Republicans, but is much closer to the 60 billion dollars that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the White House could accept.

Senate Republicans have not included any funds for rent or mortgage relief in their latest failed “skinny” stimulus package. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) Told Reason last month he opposed additional federal tenant assistance, saying, “I think we have to ask ourselves what expansion of the welfare state, how many different layers, how many different programs are we going to do. When is this sufficient?

“It is extraordinarily reckless and irresponsible of Trump to blow up negotiations now, when so many tenants and small landlords are struggling,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), in a statement to Reason. “The longer the federal government waits to act, the steeper the financial cliff will be for tenants when the moratorium on evictions expires this winter.”

Yentel refers to moratorium on evictions published in early September by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It bans evictions for non-payment across the country until the end of the year.

Both versions of Democrats’ HEROES law also included a nationwide moratorium on evictions and automatic mortgage forbearance.

The CDC moratorium, currently on subject to trial seeking to cancel it, do not forgive tenants for the obligation to pay rent. It only prevents owners from moving to evict them while it is in effect. For this reason, the NLIHC, among other housing advocacy groups, lobbied for federal rent assistance so that tenants were not evicted for unpaid rent in January.

Still, Trump’s decision to blow up negotiations probably hits homeowners the hardest, at least in the short term. Their industry associations have also been strong advocates of rental assistance, while being generally critical of the moratoriums on evictions as too blunt a political instrument.

“While the National Apartment Association (NAA) is delighted that the House’s revised HEROES Act contains helpful provisions, including funding for emergency rent assistance, the extension of the Federal Moratorium on Evictions Bill for another year would devastate the rental housing industry, ”NAA CEO Bob Pinnegar said last Thursday.

“Adopting relief measures, such as direct rent assistance, should not be a political game; emergency rent assistance is the only policy that will keep tenants safe and ensure that rental providers. rental housing can pay their bills, “Pinnegar said in a statement. Reason in response to Trump’s decision to close negotiations on Tuesday.

With negotiations now at a standstill, landlords are forced to face the CDC’s moratorium on evictions without any prospect of short-term rental assistance.

According to the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) rent payment tracking, which surveys professionally managed apartment buildings, 92% of tenants had paid at least part of their September rent by the week ending September 27. By the end of August, 94.5% of tenants had paid at least part of the rent.

Owners of low-end rental units, which are often not professionally managed and therefore not captured by the NMHC survey, report lower payment rates during the pandemic.

Eviction requests are lower than historical averages in 15 of 17 cities tracked by Princeton University Expulsion laboratory. Places like Boston and Austin, which both have local moratoriums on evictions in addition to CDC policy, have seen evictions drop near zero. The two exceptions are Columbus, Ohio, and Richmond, Virginia, where evictions exceed historical averages of 48 and 300 percent respectively.

With eviction rates below historical averages in most cities and rental payment rates remaining fairly stable throughout the pandemic, a massive new federal program to bail out tenants and rental property owners seems overkill. .

This is especially true when most of the proposed stimulus proposals include expanded unemployment benefits and another round of stimulus payments of $ 1,200. Renters say they are using these types of benefits, which were included in the March coronavirus relief bill, to cover their housing costs earlier in the pandemic.

It remains to be seen whether the mercurial Trump will stick to his decision to walk away from stimulus talks. After tweeting that he was done negotiating, the president again took to Twitter to urge the passage of an airline bailout and another round of stimulus checks.

It is possible that tenants and landlords will benefit from Trump’s rollback as well. If they don’t, they will have to wait until 2021 for more help from the federal government.