Washington, D.C. - An amendment by Senators John Kerry and Kirsten Gillibrand to protect renters from being thrown out of their homes after a foreclosure passed the Senate today as part of the larger housing bill, the Help Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 (S. 896.) S. Amdt. 1036, the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, ensures that tenants and families nationwide have at least 90 days to find their next home if they are renting in a building that is foreclosed upon.
"More than 30,000 renters across New York, who dutifully pay their rent on time each month, may face eviction because they live in a building that is about to be foreclosed," said Sen. Gillibrand. "These tenants have almost no rights when a bank seizes their home. Families without the means to find temporary housing or move into another unit can be kicked onto the streets, because their landlord failed to meet his or her obligation to pay. This is wrong and I am proud to partner with my colleagues to pass new protections for these families."
"Renters are blameless victims in the housing crisis," said Sen. Kerry, who has previously introduced legislation to protect military families facing foreclosure. "Tenants who do no wrong shouldn't be evicted without notice and without the necessary time to make alternative living arrangements. This victory will prevent a spike in vacant properties in our communities and give families who don't have the means to find another place a chance to plan."
Renters often have no idea their home is about to be foreclosed upon. Depending on state law, renters in foreclosed properties may be evicted with limited notice, forcing families to move quickly and increasing the number of vacant properties in neighborhoods. Low-income renters who live in properties subject to foreclosure are lack the resources necessary to easily relocate.