Updated NLIHC Resources
- Economic Impact Payments: Frequently Asked Questions [and a version in Español]
- Guidance for Helping People Experiencing Homelessness Access their Economic Impact Payments [and a version in Español]
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on March 29 announced a 90-day extension of the federal eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will launch a new effort to increase awareness of the federal eviction moratorium’s protections. The CFPB and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will enforce penalties against landlords who violate the order. Read the joint statement of CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio and FTC Acting Chairwoman Rebecca Slaughter on preventing illegal evictions.
Renters can file complaints against their landlords if they violate the CDC moratorium with the CFPB at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/ or with the FTC at: https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?pid=A
Department of Agriculture (USDA)
The USDA announced that the Biden-Harris administration extended the eviction moratorium to affected multifamily housing residents through June 30, 2021, providing relief to the hundreds-of-thousands of Americans who rely on USDA-supported multifamily housing communities.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge on March 25 announced $5 million in Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant (NHHBG) funding under the American Rescue Plan to support the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic (see Memo, 3/29). Secretary Fudge also announced $450 million in Indian Housing Block Grants to Indian tribes across the country to respond to COVID-19.
FEMA announced on March 25 that it has amended major disaster declarations for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, five territories, and two tribes to provide 100% federal funding for the costs of eligible expenses under the Public Assistance program, including approved non-congregate sheltering costs. President Biden authorized the increase in the level of federal funds for eligible expenses performed from January 20, 2020, through September 30, 2021.
Internal Revenue Service
The Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department announced on March 30 that they anticipate economic impact payments will begin to be issued this weekend to Social Security recipients and other federal beneficiaries who do not normally file a tax return, with the projection that most of these payments would be sent electronically and received on April 7.
The National Homelessness Law Center (NHLC) created a fact sheet on taking advantage of FEMA’s 100% reimbursement for housing people experiencing homelessness in hotels. NHLC recommends that states and localities house people experiencing homelessness in hotels, motels, and/or RVs for the duration of the pandemic, and they provide examples of state and local efforts to do so on their COVID-19 protections for homeless populations webpage.
The National Consumer Law Center released a Guide for Advocates to Recent Federal COVID-19 Relief to Help Consumers Pay for Essential Energy, Water, and Broadband Service.
While large landlords have been critical of the federal eviction moratorium, arguing the ban is putting their finances in jeopardy, a CBS Money Watch review of the financial statements and loan records of the nation’s largest landlords indicates large property owners have predominantly been profitable during the pandemic. The argument that landlords need the eviction moratorium to end because of financial hardship is “very hard to make,” says NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel.
Common Dreams reports on the CBS analysis that revealed major property owners have seen profits, some very large, during the coronavirus pandemic. The article links to a Twitter thread from NLIHC’s Diane Yentel on the extension of the CDC eviction moratorium.
NPR reports the CDC extended the federal eviction moratorium through June, but it did not address the moratorium’s shortcomings. “It's disappointing that the administration didn't act on the clear evidence and need to also strengthen the order to address the flaws that undermine its public health purpose,” says NLIHC’s Diane Yentel. “That will result in some continued harmful evictions during the pandemic.”
The Associated Press reports on the extension of the federal eviction moratorium through June, highlighting housing advocates’ disappointment that the Biden administration merely extended the ban without addressing its shortcomings. “The CDC simply extended President Trump’s original order, leaving the loopholes and flaws in place, a disappointing decision that will result in more harmful evictions during the pandemic,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel.
Politico reports that the CDC extended the federal eviction moratorium without making substantive changes to the order, despite housing advocates urging the Biden administration to strengthen and enforce the ban. “While the Biden administration is well aware of the shortcomings in the moratorium order that allow some evictions to proceed during the pandemic, the CDC director did not correct them,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel. The heads of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission issued a joint statement announcing they will monitor and investigate eviction processes to ensure they are complying with the law, pointing to reports that major multistate landlords are violating the moratorium.
The Hill reported on efforts by Democratic lawmakers and housing advocates to urge the Biden administration to extend the federal eviction moratorium. “The historic levels of emergency rental assistance underscore how important it is for the Biden administration to extend, strengthen, and enforce the moratorium,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel. “Without this protection, renters will be at risk of losing their homes at the very same time that billions of dollars are on the way to help stabilize them.”
An op-ed in The Hill urges Congress and the White House to take bold action to reverse the rising trend of homelessness in the United States. Extending the CDC eviction moratorium is needed to prevent a tsunami of evictions, but we also need a national plan to address the root causes of homelessness.
State and Local News
NPR shares the story of an Alabama resident who was evicted during the pandemic, highlighting that his experience is a window into what potentially millions more Americans may face if they cannot catch up on back rent by the end of June when the federal eviction moratorium expires. Felicia Jackson, the executive director of the Alabama Rural Coalition for the Homeless, says the organization is seeing many evictions despite the CDC eviction moratorium.
The AZEvictionHelp website, published by the Arizona Bar Foundation, lists agencies and programs that can help those facing eviction navigate the legal system, find financial assistance, and match them with support services.
Renters and landlords in 12 Arizona counties may now apply for rent and utility assistance through the DES Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Maricopa, Pima, and Yuma counties are administering their own programs, along with several municipalities throughout the state.
The San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board questions why Mayor Todd Gloria and other city officials delayed pursuing FEMA reimbursement after President Biden announced FEMA will fully cover the costs of eligible non-congregate sheltering. An aide to Mayor Gloria wrote that FEMA funding does not address the need for supportive services and mentioned that the mayor directed the Housing Commission to seek out local service providers on March 12.
The Louisiana Housing Corporation and Louisiana’s Office of Community Development will co-host a series of virtual information sessions to provide landlords and renters with information about Louisiana’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The next session is Tuesday, April 6, at 9:00 am. Information regarding how to join a virtual session can be found at: www.LAStateRent.com
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak on March 30 announced a two-month extension of the state’s eviction moratorium, which was initially set to expire on March 31. The moratorium will not be extended past the end of May. Governor Sisolak extended the current moratorium to allow time for counties, courts, and other stakeholders to distribute rental assistance and ramp up eviction mediation programs.
The Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada is concerned about a wave of evictions when the state and federal eviction moratorium expires. Thousands of tenants are still waiting for assistance through Clark County’s CARES Housing Assistance Program, and the state and Clark County are dealing with a backlog of rental assistance applications.
The Gothamist reports that despite efforts to make rental assistance more accessible to applicants, the second round of New York’s rent relief program has reached fewer people than the first. Nearly eight weeks after the February 1 deadline, New York had distributed just $7 million out of $60 million available for struggling tenants.
David Bartholomew, co-director of the homeless prevention program for Pisgah Legal Services in Brevard, says North Carolina courts are not prepared for the avalanche of eviction cases that have been postponed for months. Up to 36% of renter households in North Carolina were at high risk of eviction at the beginning of the year.
With FEMA offering to provide full reimbursement for non-congregate sheltering, the city of Chattanooga is seeking to extend and expand its non-congregate sheltering program for people experiencing homelessness. The city is looking to spend up to $400,000 to rent as many as 100 hotel rooms. This is separate from the city’s ongoing efforts to use $1 million in federal COVID relief funds to purchase a hotel to use as a low-barrier shelter.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Andy Brown on March 30 issued orders extending eviction moratoriums in the city and county through May 1. Previously, those protections were set to expire on April 1. Earlier in March, Austin opened applications for a revamped rental assistance program.
Over 2,700 individuals experiencing homelessness are being housed in hotels and motels across Vermont, and state officials say this will continue for the duration of the public health emergency.
After weeks of disputes between Mayor Jenny Durkan and members of the Seattle City Council over whether the city would expand non-congregate shelter and rely on FEMA reimbursement to cover the costs, the city council unanimously approved $12 million to lease 200 hotel rooms and build some tiny homes to provide shelter to people experiencing homelessness. Seattle will seek reimbursement from FEMA for eligible costs and will pay for the remaining costs using funds from the American Rescue Plan or 2022 budget process. King County officials are also hoping FEMA will reimburse the more than 400 hotel rooms they have been operating during the pandemic.
DCist reports that Washington D.C. officials have not made plans to expand its Pandemic Emergency Program for Medically Vulnerable Individuals (PEP-V) into a fourth hotel – despite widespread support for the program, the hundreds of unhoused individuals on a waiting list for the program, and FEMA offering to provide 100% cost reimbursement. D.C. has requested a federal reimbursement of $17 million for the PEP-V and quarantine housing programs. FEMA has approved nearly $12 million of that request, and the city expects to receive another $11 million from FEMA.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
CDC Eviction Protection Declaration – Updated March 2021
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of the Treasury
Emergency Rental Assistance: Frequently Asked Questions – Revised March 26, 2021
Emergency Rental Assistance: Grantee Award Terms – Revised March 26, 2021
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
IRS: Emergency Rental Assistance Frequently Asked Questions – March 25, 2021