Coronavirus Updates – April 18

National Updates

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

HUD announced on April 5 that it will make an additional $3.2 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds available to help its Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) agencies combat housing discrimination related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

HUD also published a “HOME-ARP Housing Production Goal Calculation Worksheet and FAQ.” Participating Jurisdictions (PJs) can use the worksheet to estimate the number of affordable rental housing units for qualifying populations that will be produced or supported by a PJ with a HOME Investment Partnerships American Rescue Plan Program (HOME-ARP) allocation.

Department of the Treasury

The U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) on April 11 updated the form for requesting voluntarily reallocated funds. Grantees that wish to request funds that are being voluntarily reallocated should use the form, including Exhibit C, and submit it via Treasury’s Portal. ERA grantees requesting the voluntary reallocation of their funds should continue to use this template letter.

Treasury also released the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) program “April 2022 Project and Expenditure Report User Guide.”


The Associated Press reports that many states have either voluntarily returned federal emergency rental assistance (ERA) or had ERA funds involuntarily recaptured. Nebraska is the only state to have refused to accept any ERA2 funds whatsoever. Those states for which funds have been recaptured are nearly all smaller states under Republican leadership with large rural populations and fewer renters. U.S. Department of the Treasury officials and many housing advocates argue that reallocation ensures that ERA is distributed to those states most in need.

ABC News explores how the pandemic and a call to action from Attorney General Merrick Garland in August 2021 spurred the creation of eviction diversion programs across the country. The $46 billion in federal emergency rental assistance and the implementation of eviction diversion programs have helped keep eviction filings significantly below historical averages.

NPR examines the effect of eviction moratoriums on out-of-court evictions, often referred to as “informal” or “self-help” evictions. Of the attorneys surveyed by the National Housing Law Project in July 2020, when the federal eviction moratorium was in place, 91% reported being aware of cases of illegal evictions. In a follow-up survey, 35% of legal aid attorneys reported an increase in illegal evictions or lockouts and a rise in court-sanctioned evictions after the federal eviction moratorium was lifted in August 2021.

CNN reports on a March 2022 analysis by Princeton University’s Eviction Lab, which found that an estimated 1.36 million renters avoided an eviction filing in 2021 as a result of federal emergency rental assistance and other protections.

State and Local News


Over $2.1 million in federal emergency rental assistance (ERA2) funds are available for Huntsville residents.


An attorney with Alaska Legal Services based in Juneau says the organization has seen an increase in evictions across Southeast Alaska in recent months as federal emergency rental assistance dwindles. The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation has distributed more than $220 million in federal rent relief to over 66,000 Alaskans. One-third of all renters in the state applied to the program, according to Housing Corporation spokesperson Stacey Barnes.


Washington County closed its rental assistance programs after not receiving all of the federal money it expected to receive. As a result, some people who have already been approved for rental assistance may not receive any aid. Axios reports that Beth Coger, Democratic Party nominee for the District 9 seat on the Quorum Court, suggested that the court use CARES Act funds to provide promised rental assistance.


A new University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) report finds a lag among Latino and Asian households in California in accessing the state’s emergency rental assistance program. The researchers found that Asian and Latino households are severely underrepresented among those who have managed to receive rent relief, compared to non-Latino white renters, even when accounting for income, age, and metropolitan area of residence.

NBC News highlights UCLA’s report, which found that low-income Asian American households have the lowest rate of rental assistance in California. Just 25% of rent-distressed Asian American households applied for aid, compared to 48% of white renters.

The Fresno Bee reports California lawmakers passed legislation on April 1 extending eviction protections through June 30 for renters who have applied for emergency rental assistance but have not yet received the funds. Fresno lawmakers confirmed that the new state law would not impact Fresno’s eviction moratorium or ERA applicants who apply after April 1.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the San Diego City Council approved a new eviction moratorium on April 4 that would prohibit landlords from removing a tenant from a property if they want to take the property off the rental market or make significant repairs. San Diego’s new law adds additional protections for no-fault evictions not covered under California’s moratorium, which was extended last week through June 2022. The moratorium will stay in effect until September 30 or 60 days after the end of the local state of emergency, whichever comes first. A second vote on the ordinance is required before it can become law and will likely take place at the April 18 council meeting.


Denver courts saw 771 eviction filings in March 2022, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. So far this year, 1,860 Denver households have been taken to court, and many tenants who receive eviction notices move out long before landlords take them to court. Zach Neumann of the Colorado Eviction Defense Project says the current eviction numbers are unnerving, partly because both Denver and Colorado still have historic levels of rental assistance available.


According to the CT Mirror, Connecticut pulled more than 20,000 incomplete rental assistance applications from consideration last week, the vast majority of which lacked information about only one party. About 10,700 applications were closed because tenants were waiting for their landlords to complete the applications.

Reflecting statewide trends, evictions in Meriden are on the rise after state and federal eviction moratoriums ended in the fall of 2021. Monthly case reports show eviction rates comparable to pre-pandemic levels.


Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced on April 8 that the Miami-Dade County Emergency Rental Assistance Program received an additional $13 million to assist struggling residents.


Calcasieu Parish reopened applications for a second round of emergency rental assistance on April 4. The parish announced it has funds to assist approximately 35 families with COVID-19-related rental or mortgage assistance.


Housing advocates across Michigan are concerned about a rise in evictions when federal rent relief is expended. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority, which is administering the state’s emergency rental assistance program, said it tentatively expects to stop accepting new applications in June. The same renters who struggled with housing stability before and during the pandemic will continue to struggle because of the severe shortage of affordable housing, NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel told the Detroit Free Press.


An attempt to override Governor Pete Ricketts’s veto of a federal rental assistance bill fell one vote short on April 5. The legislation would have forced Governor Ricketts to apply for Nebraska’s second round of emergency rental assistance (ERA2).

New York

Three months after New York’s eviction moratorium ended, legal aid groups say they are unable to keep up with the overwhelming demand of tenants in need of legal representation. The Legal Aid Society and the New York Legal Assistance Group said that attorneys will be unable to take new cases in Queens in April, and they are urging the Office of Court Administration to slow the scheduling of housing court cases to make sure those at risk of eviction can access an attorney.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul on April 9 detailed the uses of $2 billion in reserve pandemic recovery funding in the fiscal year (FY) 2023 State Budget. The budget includes $800 million in state funds for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, $250 million for utility assistance, and $125 million for the Landlord Rental Assistance Program.


The Cincinnati Edition discusses how emergency rental assistance (ERA) distributed by the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Action Agency has helped families remain housed during the pandemic. The episode addresses how families will be impacted if ERA runs out in September.

The City of Toledo is receiving $19.4 million in reallocated federal emergency rental assistance funds. The city’s application portal will remain open through the end of April.

South Dakota

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem announced that her administration is returning $81.5 million in federal emergency rental assistance funds and is requesting that $17.9 million of that money be redirected to the Oglala Sioux, Lower Brule Sioux, and Crow Creek Sioux.


The Texas Tribune interviewed tenants from across the state who were approved for federal emergency rental assistance (ERA) but were evicted anyway. To receive federal rent relief funds, landlords had to sign an agreement that prohibits them from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent during the period covered by the assistance. Yet housing advocates and legal aid providers say they have routinely seen cases in which Texas landlords have accepted thousands of dollars in ERA yet still evicted tenants. The article highlights a survey by the National Housing Law Project, which found that 86% of 119 lawyers around the country reported seeing cases in which landlords either declined to apply for ERA or accepted the money and then evicted their tenants.

Tarrant County will close its rental assistance program on April 30 to ensure there are sufficient funds for eligible applicants. Residents living outside of Arlington and Fort Worth must apply by April 30.

Fort Worth closed the application portal for its Emergency Rental Assistance Program on March 31 because all available funding has been obligated. There is no longer enough funding to cover rental assistance for everyone who has submitted an application.

The Austin Monitor reports that Travis County is seeing an increase in evictions as housing protections expire. Though the county has not seen the “tsunami” of evictions that was feared, Travis County has still seen a 7% increase in evictions compared to pre-pandemic levels.


Virginia housing advocates fear a surge of evictions when the last of Virginia’s COVID-19 eviction protections expire on June 30. The $691 million in federal and state rental assistance coupled with added eviction protections have helped keep families in their homes throughout the pandemic. The end of eviction protections on June 30, however, could lead to a spike in evictions, since landlords and property managers will have fewer barriers preventing the evictions of tenants for nonpayment of rent.


The Olympian reports that many renters who have applied for rental assistance will likely remain in limbo for several more weeks as Thurston County’s new rental assistance provider continues processing a large backlog of applicants. The new provider, LiveStories, is prioritizing certain groups, including clients of the Eviction Resolution Pilot Program at the Dispute Resolution Center.


Department of Housing and Urban Development

Department of Treasury