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Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz Answers Pandemic Relief Questions In Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Forum

Miami Herald

The South Florida congresswoman joined a Zoom meeting Friday to answer questions about PPP loans, rental assistance and more.

Many people have questions about PPP loans, rent assistance and ongoing relief for small businesses as the pandemic continues to drag on.

South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz joined the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce meeting Friday to answer what she could.

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Wasserman Schultz said the rental assistance Congress passed includes money that can help landlords, looking at them as small businesses.

"But we did not really pass a large amount of rental assistance in this most recent package. So we're gonna need to do a lot more," she said. "It's $25 billion for renters and landlords but that money will go really fast."

For renters to qualify for the assistance, the U.S. Department of the Treasury says you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19
  • Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability
  • Has a household income at or below 80% of the area median.

During the meeting, Wasserman Schultz also touched on another piece of the pandemic: the impact to South Florida's hospitality industry.

"The best thing we can do for the hospitality industry is establish what should have been established long ago — a proper balance between testing, contact tracing, and isolation," Wasserman Schultz said, criticizing a lack of mask enforcement. "And aggressively encouraging following of public health guidelines."

One person on the Zoom forum asked the congresswoman how they could send their $600 federal stimulus payment back, if they feel they don't need it.

"My suggestion, honestly, is give it to any organization like Feeding South Florida," Wasserman Schultz replied. "Because there are so many people that have become food insecure. If you aren't in need of those resources, I would definitely make a charitable contribution to help those that are — no reason to send it back to the treasury."

Caitie Muñoz, formerly Switalski, leads the WLRN Newsroom as Director of Daily News & Original Live Programming. Previously she reported on news and stories concerning quality of life in Broward County and its municipalities for WLRN News.
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