HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs (Multifamily) posted an update to “Addressing Tenant Concerns During the COVID-19 National Emergency” (see Memo, 4/27/20). The three-page brochure reminds residents living in private multifamily properties assisted with Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) that they should continue paying rent if they can, but if their income has decreased, they should contact property management right away and request an income recertification. If a resident does not have rental assistance but lives in an FHA-insured property, the resident is urged to contact the landlord immediately to discuss a potential payment plan.
The updated brochure eliminates the previous version’s details about the CARES Act eviction moratorium and adds material about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Eviction Moratorium, which expires on June 30. On the cover page, Multifamily encourages property owners and management agents to inform residents about the eviction protections and encourages owners and managers to inform residents about the required CDC declaration form. Detailed information about the CDC declaration form is on the second page.
The brochure includes advice for residents who are having trouble paying rent. Tenants who have had a decrease in income should ask their property manager for an income recertification as soon as possible, as they should be entitled to a rent reduction or a hardship exemption that takes effect the first month after their income declines. The brochure clarifies that federal stimulus payments are not included in income calculations. Multifamily also informs tenants that they may qualify for newly available rent assistance from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).
The brochure reminds tenants that if their state or local government has eviction protections in place that provide the same or greater public health protections as the CDC order, the state or local protections supersede the CDC order. If there are state or local eviction protections that continue after the CDC order ends on June 30, these state or local protections will still apply.
Multifamily warns residents that once the temporary halt on evictions ends, they can be evicted for nonpayment of rent. However, the brochure states that until further notice, owners of HUD-assisted or FHA-insured properties who receive mortgage forbearance from their lender must continue to provide at least 30 days’ notice of eviction, or more if required by state or local law. Tenants are encouraged to contact their landlord regarding income recertification (if their income has fallen) or a payment agreement that might help them avoid an eviction once the moratorium ends.
If a resident is concerned about the condition of their home, they should contact their Project-Based Contract Administrator (PBCA) or Regional HUD Office. Attached to the brochure is a list of PBCAs and their phone numbers in each state.
Read “Addressing Tenant Concerns During the COVID-19 National Emergency” at: https://bit.ly/3zdgmel
More Information about the Section 8 project-based housing program is on page 4-64 of NLIHC’s 2021 Advocates’ Guide.