A descriptive analysis of more than 130 new state and local policies related to tenant protections and emergency rental assistance during and after the COVID-19 pandemic
WASHINGTON, DC– The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) announced today the release of their report, Tenant Protections and Emergency Rental Assistance during and beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic. The report provides a descriptive analysis of policies related to new tenant protections and emergency rental assistance (ERA) that have been enacted or implemented by states and local governments in 2021. States and localities passed or implemented more than 130 new laws or policies to protect tenants from eviction in 2021.
The report examines such protections and policies as state and local eviction moratoriums, pauses on the eviction process to allow for ERA processing, mandates to increase information about ERA and limit tenant fees, increases to tenant representation during the eviction process, and protections that reduce discrimination and promote housing stability.
“The pandemic and resulting historic aid to renters have fundamentally shifted the housing landscape in the United States, in part because state and local jurisdictions across the country have recognized the crucial role tenant protections play in preventing evictions for the most marginalized households,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “This is a tremendous achievement by state and local advocates and organizers, but there is more work to be done. States and localities must also adopt laws and policies for long-term tenant protections, and Congress must enact Build Back Better to provide localities needed resources to ensure housing stability for the lowest-income people.”
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for additional tenant protections and presented opportunities to learn how existing protections can be strengthened and expanded in the future. This report shows that long-term tenant protections, such as source-of-income discrimination laws, right to counsel, and sealed-eviction legislation, will outlast the pandemic and provide guidance to housing advocates and policymakers on similar protections in their own jurisdictions.
The report provides key recommendations for eviction prevention and housing stability. States and localities must assess their tenant-protection laws and programs to ensure maximum effectiveness in preventing evictions, in all stages of the eviction process. Additionally, Congress must authorize and fund a permanent program to provide emergency rental assistance, such as that proposed in the “Eviction Crisis Act,” to ensure housing stability for households that experience financial shocks after the pandemic ends.
Tenant Protections and Emergency Rental Assistance during and beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic is available at: https://bit.ly/33BGwg3
# # #
About the National Low Income Housing Coalition
The National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated to achieving racially and socially equitable public policy that ensures people with the lowest incomes have quality homes that are accessible and affordable in the communities of their choice. NLIHC educates, organizes, and advocates to ensure decent, affordable housing for everyone. For more information about NLIHC, please visit www.nlihc.org.