- FEMA Non-Congregate Sheltering During the COVID-19 Pandemic – April 2021
- Overview of the Federal Eviction Moratorium – Updated April 2021
- Federal Eviction Moratorium: FAQ for Renters – Updated April 2021
Internal Revenue Service
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a notice on April 15 stating that people who do not have a permanent address or a bank account may still qualify for Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) and other tax benefits. The IRS urges community groups, employers, and others to share information about EIPs and help eligible individuals file a 2020 tax return so they can receive the EIPs and other tax benefits to which they are entitled.
A new study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania uses computer modeling to suggest that eviction moratoriums enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the infection rate and protected from the spread of infections not only those who would have lost their housing, but also entire communities.
CNBC reports on the roadblocks states and localities face in distributing more than $45 billion in federal emergency rental assistance (ERA). NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel says most programs are not providing direct-to-tenant assistance if landlords refuse to participate, despite having the option to do so. Additionally, some states are delaying distribution of critical aid by imposing unnecessary and burdensome documentation requirements.
CNBC reports on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Interim Final Rule that will allow tenants to sue debt collectors who violate the CDC eviction moratorium. Attorneys for landlords and other debt collectors who wrongly evict tenants could also face federal and state prosecution. Housing advocates have pointed out that the moratorium has failed to protect many tenants due to a lack of enforcement.
NLIHC’s Diane Yentel joined Scripps National News to discuss the CFPB’s new Interim Final Rule that establishes new measures to enforce the CDC eviction moratorium.
The Hill reports on the CFPB’s new rule designed to bolster the federal eviction moratorium. Housing advocates have urged the Biden administration to strengthen and enforce the CDC moratorium and close loopholes that landlords have exploited to continue evicting tenants despite the ban.
The New York Times spotlights California’s Project Homekey, a statewide program to acquire and convert hotels, motels, and other distressed properties into permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness. Through Project Homekey, California has established a national model to create tens of thousands of housing units for less than the cost of new construction and in a fraction of the time. The American Rescue Plan allocates $5 billion for developing affordable housing for people experiencing homelessness, including through acquisition and conversion.
Yahoo! Finance interviewed Dr. Alison Hill, one of the authors of a new study finding that eviction moratoriums authorized during the pandemic have protected from COVID-19 not only people who could have lost their homes, but also entire communities.
The Hill reported on April 15 that the Biden administration is coming under fire from housing advocates who say the administration is turning a blind eye as landlords continue to violate the federal eviction moratorium. NLIHC Vice President of Public Policy Sarah Saadian said the Department of Justice should enforce the CDC eviction moratorium and discussed the need for a national eviction database.
State and Local News
An article in the Arizona Mirror addresses the avalanche of evictions Arizona will face when the federal eviction moratorium expires on June 30. Despite the state and federal moratoriums, evictions have continued throughout the U.S. and across Arizona. In Maricopa and Pima counties, eviction actions are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels.
According to the Associated Press, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on April 19 proposed spending nearly $1 billion in the coming year to get people off the streets, build housing, and clean encampments that have spread across the city. The funding will include nearly $100 million from the American Rescue Plan Act, with the hope that county, state, and federal governments continue to expand financial assistance.
The Santa Monica and California statewide eviction moratoriums are set to expire on June 30. In Santa Monica, a city with over 32,000 rental homes, this poses the potential for a tidal wave of evictions. Advocates urge tenants who are facing eviction to seek legal aid immediately. Stay Housed LA County has many resources on tenants’ rights in LA County.
Governor Ned Lamont extended Connecticut’s statewide eviction moratorium until the public health emergency expires on May 20. The moratorium was set to expire on April 20. Advocates say the state moratorium has not completely halted evictions due to built-in exceptions that allow landlords to evict tenants if they are at least six months behind on rent or if the landlord wants to use the unit as their primary residence.
Spectrum News 13 reports on the CFPB’s new rule to strengthen enforcement of the federal eviction moratorium, highlighting housing advocates’ months-long calls for the administration to strengthen and enforce the CDC order. For some Polk County residents, however, the CFPB’s rule comes too late.
Maryland Matters reports that several tenant relief efforts failed in the final hours of the 2021 legislative session, drawing condemnation from fair housing advocates who say the state is not doing enough to stop evictions, particularly during the pandemic.
A vote on a St. Louis County bill that would halt evictions has been delayed once again. Evictions in the county resumed in early April. A bill that would adopt guidance from federal health officials to halt nearly all evictions through June 30 is being revised to address concerns that it conflicts with a ruling from St. Louis County Circuit Judge Michael Burton that ended the moratorium.
The Nevada Independent reports that state leaders are fast-tracking urgent rental assistance applications. Over the next two months, Home Means Nevada will partner with other organizations to develop a plan to prioritize rental assistance applications.
A NorthJersey.com article outlines several funding streams and programs that New Jersey is currently offering or plans to launch to prevent a tsunami of evictions and foreclosures when federal and state eviction protections expire in June. New Jersey landlords have already filed nearly 59,000 eviction cases with the courts between April 2020 and March 2021.
With New York’s eviction moratorium set to expire on May 1, local leaders in Rochester are taking steps to protect renters at risk of losing their homes through the Rochester and Monroe County Eviction Prevention Pilot Initiative. About 25% of renters in Rochester were behind on their March rent.
NC Policy Watch reports that as North Carolina landlords exploit loopholes in the state and federal eviction moratoriums, there is a concurrent push for gentrification in communities of color. Landlords are using the expiration of a lease as an excuse to claim there was a violation, which is a permissible reason for eviction. Some landlords are refusing to accept rental assistance from the Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) program.
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) announced it has made changes to the Texas Rent Relief (TRR) program to streamline the application process. The program announced that subsidized tenants are now eligible for assistance and documentation of past-due rent and unemployment benefits is no longer required. A detailed summary of the program changes is available here.
FEMA awarded over $46.6 million to the Vermont Agency of Human Services for the state’s Hotel/Motel Vouchers Program for individuals in need of non-congregate shelter during the pandemic.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of Treasury
Homeowner Assistance Fund: Guidance – April 14, 2021
United States Interagency Council on Homelessness
Information on Economic Impact Payments – April 12, 2021