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Engel to House Leadership: Treat Co-ops Fairly With Coronavirus Aid

Engel to House Leadership: Treat Co-ops Fairly With Coronavirus Aid

In a letter to House leadership this week, Congressman Eliot Engel made clear that he wants housing cooperatives to be treated fairly and equitably when it comes to federally allocated coronavirus aid, including with regards to the Paycheck Protection Program and loans administered through the Small Business Association.

“There are many co-ops in my district that tens of thousands of families call home,” Engel wrote. “While the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economy Security Act (CARES) Act has provided critical assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program to small businesses in my district, housing cooperatives have not received similar federal assistance.  They deserve to be treated fairly and equitably just like everyone else. The cooperatives themselves – which have employees and operating expenses just like any small business – should be eligible for the same relief made available to other small businesses. That includes the Paycheck Protection Program and other loans administered by the Small Business Administration. It is paramount that we take a comprehensive approach to helping all Americans.”

While prominent in New York’s 16th District, co-ops are a critical but often overlooked part of our housing economy. Engel believes co-ops deserve the attention and help other entities have received during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Text of Rep. Engel’s letter to House leadership can be found below:

 

May 4, 2020

 

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi                                      The Honorable Kevin McCarthy

Speaker of the House                                                  Minority Leader

United States House of Representatives                     United States House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515                                            Washington, D.C. 20515

 

The Honorable Maxine Waters                                  The Honorable Patrick McHenry

Chairwoman Financial Service Committee                Ranking Member Financial Service Committee

United States House of Representatives                     United States House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515                                            Washington, D.C. 20515

 

The Honorable Nydia Velazquez                               The Honorable Steve Chabot

Chairman Small Business Committee                        Ranking Member Small Business Committee

United States House of Representatives                     United States House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515                                            Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Chairwoman Waters, Ranking Member McHenry, Chairwoman Velazquez and Ranking Member Chabot:

 

New York State has been the epicenter for the COVID-19 outbreak in our country, and has sadly seen the greatest loss of life. My district specifically has seen immense hardship as it was the first hotspot in the nation. We are a strong community but need further federal assistance.  With that backdrop, I write to draw your attention to a critical but often overlooked part of our housing economy – housing cooperatives.

There are many co-ops in my district that tens of thousands of families call home. While the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economy Security Act (CARES) Act has provided critical assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program to small businesses in my district, housing cooperatives have not received similar federal assistance.  They deserve to be treated fairly and equitably just like everyone else. The cooperatives themselves – which have employees and operating expenses just like any small business – should be eligible for the same relief made available to other small businesses. That includes the Paycheck Protection Program and other loans administered by the Small Business Administration. It is paramount that we take a comprehensive approach to helping all Americans.

I want to thank you for the tremendous work in passing various critical funding packages to combat this public health emergency. I look forward to working with you on the next comprehensive funding package to stop this virus and help our constituents to set our nation on a strong recovery.

 

Sincerely,

 

Eliot L. Engel                                                                                      

Member of Congress