- New Resource: FEMA Non-Congregate Sheltering During the Pandemic: Policy Changes and New Opportunities to Address the Needs of People Experiencing Homelessness
- Frequently Asked Questions: Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program – Updated April 2021
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Register for the National Health Care for the Homeless Council webinar series on increasing access to COVID-19 vaccines among homeless populations. The webinar series will highlight successful partnerships between HCH facilities and local governments across the U.S. in their efforts to effectively vaccinate people experiencing homelessness. The next webinar is April 13 from 2-3 pm CT. Register for the webinar series here.
The National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel is hosting a webinar next Tuesday, April 13 at 2 pm ET to discuss new sources of federal funding that can advance eviction right-to-counsel efforts.
- Access the CFPB complaint database at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/
- Access the FTC complaint database at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?pid=B
The Justice in Government Project created a funding matrix on American Rescue Plan Act funds that can support the housing right to counsel movement.
Researchers at the University of Illinois and the National Center for State Courts are conducting a national survey on the impact of COVID-19 on the judicial system. The COVID-19 pandemic required federal and state courts to quickly change their operations and procedures. Researchers are seeking to determine which changes worked well—and should be kept—and which didn’t, and how changes impacted individual cases and access to justice. Results of the study will help identify necessary reforms and plan for future emergencies. Participate by answering a 15-minute survey to report on your own experiences with the courts during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have questions about the study, contact Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson ([email protected]) or Professor Jason Mazzone ([email protected]).
- Survey for litigants and other individuals with legal matters is here: https://ncsc2.iad1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3Odltjr6EwEkwUm
- Survey for attorneys and other representatives is here: https://ncsc2.iad1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_agbbCZRNTPCIJ5Y
NBC News reports that evictions are continuing at “full steam,” despite the federal eviction moratorium. “Many landlords have flouted the order and its protections,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “It’s especially disappointing because the Biden administration knows very well what the flaws and the shortcomings are and still failed to correct any of them.”
An op-ed in Newsweek, written by an individual who has first-hand experience with homelessness, urges Americans to acknowledge the nation’s looming eviction crisis and recognize the urgent need for action. The article points to NLIHC’s HoUSed campaign as a solution for addressing the impending homelessness crisis.
“Eviction moratoria will only be effective if they are strengthened to protect all renters throughout the crisis and used alongside supportive measures like rental assistance and the right to counsel,” writes Emily Benfer in the Appeal.
PBS NewsHour reports on the challenges facing renters as they juggle complicated rental assistance systems and confusing eviction laws.
Marketplace discusses how landlords are exploiting loopholes in the CDC eviction moratorium to evict tenants. Tenant advocates are also seeing landlords employ illegal tactics to force out renters, such as changing the locks and shutting off utilities. To protect renters, the moratorium must include access to free legal representation.
The Thomas Reuters Foundation reports on access to justice concerns related to remote eviction proceedings. As legal proceedings have shifted online, the most at-risk tenants are left without the tools they need to show up in court.
John Pollock of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel penned a piece in the Appeal outlining potential federal funding sources to expand local right to counsel efforts.
State and Local News
The Montgomery Advertiser outlines how Montgomery County renters and landlords can access Alabama’s emergency rental and utility assistance program.
ABC Arizona found that thousands of eviction cases are still being filed each month in Arizona, despite the federal eviction moratorium. New data from Maricopa County shows that more than 3,000 eviction cases were filed in April 2021.
The Sacramento Bee examines the impact of California’s Project Roomkey. The program provided shelter to approximately 35,000 Californians experiencing homelessness in hotels and motels.
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors passed additional renter protections on April 6 to prevent landlords from exploiting loopholes to evict tenants. The action limits eviction to renters who are an imminent health or safety threat. The county’s law goes beyond statewide protections that still allow “just cause evictions.” The action requires a second vote at the board’s May 4 meeting to take effect.
The San Diego Eviction Prevention Collaborative launched Housing Help San Diego, a program to help residents at risk of eviction from hard-to-reach communities who may face language, cultural, and income barriers to accessing assistance.
The Gilroy City Council again rejected a local eviction moratorium, with members questioning the need for an ordinance with county and state protections in effect. Two council members emphasized the need for Gilroy to protect its residents and not depend on other jurisdictions.
Delaware relaunched the Delaware Housing Assistance Program (DEHAP) after receiving $200 million in federal rent and utility assistance funds. The Delaware State Housing Authority says that 95% of people who have received DEHAP funds are still in their homes, even though 70% of those individuals were facing eviction.
The Bangor Daily News reports that Maine has distributed less than two percent of the $350 million in federal rental assistance, even though tens of thousands of Mainers still face housing insecurity. Since the program launched in March, local community action agencies have received 8,700 applications. Of those, only 573 households received assistance so far, with payments totaling more than $2.6 million.
The Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition is encouraging Maryland residents to urge the General Assembly to take action to protect the more than 200,000 households at risk of being displaced. More than 3,000 Maryland families have been evicted since July. Courts reopened on March 15, some with a plan to further expedite an already swift eviction process to handle the more than 100,000 pending cases.
The Baker-Polito Administration announced that more than $400 million in new federal funding from the Consolidated Appropriations Act is now available through the Massachusetts COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Initiative. Massachusetts has distributed approximately $80 million in rental assistance to more than 18,000 households since the beginning of the pandemic. Consult the Eviction Diversion Initiative Dashboard for statistics about the program.
Macomb Daily reports on the extension of the CDC eviction moratorium and provides a list of federal, state, and local resources for renters in need of housing assistance. According to the Michigan State Court Administrative Office, there were nearly 24,000 eviction filings and 3,286 writs of eviction issued in Michigan between January 1, 2021, and April 5, 2021.
NJ.com reports that the New Jersey Attorney General’s office announced new measures to protect tenants from illegal lockouts during the eviction moratorium. “The directive outlines clear and easy steps for law enforcement officers to follow. By issuing this directive and educating the public this evening, we can reduce the number of illegal evictions in this state,” said Attorney General Gurbir Grewa.
Rachel Fee, executive director of the New York Housing Conference, penned an op-ed in the Journal News urging state legislators to establish rental assistance program terms that will ensure New York’s $2.3 billion rent relief program reaches households with the greatest needs.
The New York State Senate and Assembly released a bill to distribute more than $2 billion in federal rental assistance funds. The state guidance includes clear language that households will be eligible regardless of immigration status and can self-attest to their financial hardship. The bill states that program administrators should ensure flexibility when determining acceptable documentation.
NC Policy Watch reports that North Carolina landlords continue to evict tenants, despite the federal eviction moratorium. More than 700 Forsyth County residents have fallen through the cracks of the moratorium.
The Duke Chronicle discusses efforts by legal advocates and grassroots groups to protect tenants facing eviction.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports that Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan’s administration introduced new legislation to protect struggling renters from the growing eviction crisis. The laws would halt evictions for renters who can come up with back rent, likely through emergency rental assistance, and ban source of income discrimination.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that a Hamilton County local task force is going door-to-door to urge families facing eviction to apply for the county’s $60 million federal emergency rental and utility assistance program. The Department of Jobs and Family Services is mailing informational packets to impacted families informing them of available resources.
The Pittsburgh City Council scaled back components of the city’s eviction moratorium. The city council voted on April 6 to amend the city’s eviction moratorium to more clearly define who can be evicted and reduce the fines for landlords who violate the law. The amendments no longer require landlords to renew leases for tenants who miss rent payments during the pandemic.
Rhode Island’s new statewide rental assistance program, RentReliefRI, has officially opened. The $200 million rent relief program is funded through Treasury's Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program. Check out the following resources:
- RentReliefRI Partner webpage
- RentReliefRI one-pager
- RentReliefRI Community Engagement Toolkit [Español]
NPR reports on the Texas state court system’s decision to no longer enforce the federal eviction moratorium, noting that this decision could allow landlords to proceed with tens of thousands of eviction cases that have been on hold.
Houston Public Media reported that housing courts in Texas are no longer authorized to halt evictions in compliance with the federal eviction moratorium after the Texas Supreme Court failed to extend statewide eviction protections. After the 34th emergency order lapsed, Texas judges were advised to stop enforcing the CDC eviction moratorium. The Texas Justice Court Training Center wrote that the CDC declaration “is not a matter that a justice court can or should enforce in the absence of authority from the Texas Supreme Court,” essentially telling judges to disregard the declaration. Read Texas Housers’ statement on the Texas Supreme Court’s failure to extend its 34th emergency order.
The Burlington Free Press reports that the second round of Vermont’s COVID-19 rental assistance program is underway. The Vermont State Housing Authority launched a new website for the Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program on April 6.
As Charlottesville braces for a potential tsunami of evictions when the federal eviction moratorium expires at the end of June, the city council is considering a new initiative to provide tenants facing eviction a right to counsel.
The Yakima Herald reports that local advocates are bracing for a surge in homelessness when Washington state’s eviction moratorium expires on June 30, 2021. Yakima’s pre-existing affordable housing shortage is exacerbating the current housing crisis.
The Washington Post reports the D.C. Council voted on April 6 to allow landlords to evict tenants who are deemed dangerous. DCist reported on the bill, which will provide a health and safety exception to the city’s eviction moratorium.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Multifamily Q&A for COVID-19 – April 2, 2021
Multifamily Q&A: CDC Eviction Moratorium – April 2, 2021
CPD Memo: Availability of Additional Waivers for Community Planning and Development (CPD) Grant Programs to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 and Mitigate Economic Impacts Caused by COVID-19 – March 31, 2021