Additional Coronavirus Updates – December 22, 2020

National Updates


The National Innovation Service (NIS) released on December 8 a series of Equity-Based Decision-Making Assessments as part of the Framework for an Equitable COVID-19 Homelessness Response.

The National Resources Defense Council urges policymakers to take immediate action to prevent the looming eviction crisis, noting that evictions and utility shut-offs are not just a product of the pandemic; they accelerate and exacerbate it.


NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel was featured on CNN International to discuss the looming eviction crisis. Without federal intervention, tens of millions of renters will be at risk of losing their homes this winter.

“I think it’s very clear what the consequences will be if Congress does not provide an extended eviction moratorium and substantial rental assistance – and that is a tsunami of evictions,” NLIHC’s Diane Yentel told CBS News. Watch the video clip here.

Politico examines how the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating long-existing racial disparities in housing, highlighting that Black and Latino tenants will be disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 eviction crisis. “Structural racism leaves people of color disproportionately low-income, rent-burdened, or homeless. These inequities compound the harm done by COVID-19,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel.

NLIHC’s Diane Yentel spoke to the Washington Post about the impending eviction crisis, noting the “catastrophic” consequences of tens of millions of people losing their homes this upcoming winter during a spike in COVID-19 cases. Advocates continue to urge Congress to enact a relief bill with robust housing protections and provisions and extend the CDC eviction moratorium.

The New York Times reports that jurisdictions across the U.S. are scrambling to distribute critically needed federal CARES Act funds to struggling tenants before the December 30 deadline. “The idea of reverting that money back to the Treasury just as the eviction moratoriums expire and renters are on the brink is absurd and cruel,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel.

NBC News reports that landlords have continued to evict tenants despite the CDC eviction moratorium. The article highlights advocates’ concerns about a wave of evictions when the federal eviction moratorium expires on December 31. “If policymakers don’t intervene, we are facing the very real possibility of tens of millions of people losing their homes this winter,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel.

CNBC discusses essential housing provisions included in the bipartisan coronavirus relief bill, including the $25 billion for emergency rental assistance and one-month extension of the CDC eviction moratorium. The article cites NLIHC’s Diane Yentel’s statement on the compromise relief bill.

U.S. News & World Report examines how allowing the federal eviction moratorium to expire at the end of the month will further fuel the raging pandemic. NLIHC’s Diane Yentel outlines the urgent need to extend the moratorium and provide emergency rental assistance.

HuffPost outlines why the looming eviction crisis is not only a moral failing and financial catastrophe but an unprecedented public health disaster. “It’s extraordinarily shortsighted and cruel to allow this many evictions to occur. This was entirely predictable. And the solutions are simple even if they’re not easy,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel.

The Guardian reports that without federal intervention, tens of millions of renters are at risk of eviction when the CDC eviction moratorium expires on December 31. “Rent is still due, and that rent is accruing along with utility bills and, in many cases, fees and penalties landlords are charging. That is why it is essential the eviction moratorium be paired with substantial rental assistance,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel.

HuffPost reports that the pandemic’s looming eviction crisis will disproportionately impact women, noting that eviction has always impacted women of color at higher rates than any other group due to the intersections of racism and sexism. If Congress fails to enact a relief bill that includes housing protections and resources, “we’re facing a very real possibility of tens of millions of people losing their homes in the dead of winter, during a spike in COVID-19,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel.

Diane Yentel, NLIHC president and CEO, and Eric Dunn, director of litigation at the National Housing Law Project, joined KALW’s Your Call to discuss what steps the federal government must take to prevent a massive wave of evictions in January.

USA Today reports that state and local programs to house people experiencing homelessness in non-congregate shelters, such as hotels and motels, across the U.S. are abruptly ending, causing concern that hotel residents will be forced back into congregate shelters, encampments, or the streets.

USA Today explains why millions of people in America could face eviction after the holidays and outlines how people can help struggling renters and organizations that serve people experiencing homelessness.

The New York Times reports that residents of weekly rentals are concerned about being forced from their homes if they are unable to pay rent. It is unclear if the CDC eviction moratorium protects tenants of weekly rental lodgings, which has resulted in some owners pushing out renters who cannot pay rent.

According to new data released by researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame, nearly 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty over the past five months. Since June, poverty has risen the most for Black Americans and those with high school degrees or less.

States are grappling with what steps to take next as they brace for the impending eviction crisis. Eviction moratoriums instituted by 44 states beginning in March have mostly expired, but some states are considering extending eviction bans. Advocates are urging Congress and state officials to extend moratoriums and fund rental assistance programs.

An op-ed in USA Today outlines the urgent need for Congress to enact a COVID-19 relief package that includes accessible emergency rental assistance and a uniform, enforceable eviction moratorium.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the surge of evictions that is expected in January if the federal government does not extend the CDC eviction moratorium.

CNBC spoke to researchers about how the eviction crisis could increase the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. A recent research study found that as many as 433,700 excess cases of COVID-19 and 10,700 additional deaths occurred when states lifted their eviction moratoriums between March and September.

State and Local News

A list of state and local emergency rental assistance programs is available here from NLIHC.


Cleburne County Circuit Judge Holly Meyer declared the CDC eviction moratorium unconstitutional under both the U.S. and Arkansas Constitutions. The judge reasoned that because Arkansas did not take action to help tenants avoid eviction, the court should not either.


Two million California renters could be forced from their homes early next year, with single mothers especially at risk of eviction. This month, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey estimated that more than 3 million California renters turned to credit cards or loans, more than 3 million tapped into their savings or sold assets, and approximately 2 million borrowed money from friends or family.

A report from the USC Price Center for Social Innovation finds that widespread economic precarity existed prior to the pandemic for Los Angeles renters, who were already cutting back on basic needs to pay rent. The authors conclude that returning to a pre-pandemic state is not enough. In addition to current emergency tenant protections, policymakers need to address deeper issues within the rental market.

Approximately 30 families who had been residing in a motel for months and even years were forced from their rooms when L.A. County took steps to purchase the property and convert it into housing using Project Homekey funds. After protests from the residents, local organizers, and attorneys, county officials decided to delay the purchase while they determine if the occupants have rights of residency – and if not, where they will go.

Millions of California renters are at risk of eviction as federal and state emergency tenant protections are soon to expire, raising fears of an increase in homelessness during the worst COVID-19 surge yet.

CalMatters reports that a coalition of Los Angeles eviction defense attorneys is seeking to postpone all trials until the end of the pandemic. “The court is not doing its part to flatten the curve and substantially prejudicing low-income tenants’ due process rights by forcing them to choose between their day in court and likely exposure to COVID-19,” the coalition wrote in a letter to Los Angeles County Superior Court’s presiding judge.

The Chico City Council on December 8 voted 5-2 to implement an emergency ordinance that makes camping in city parks a misdemeanor instead of an infraction. The council’s decision comes at a time when there are no new solutions for adding shelter beds in the city and local homeless service providers are scrambling to prepare for a surge in need when eviction protections expire.


The Colorado Sun reports that some landlords are refusing to participate in state rental assistance programs for various reasons, preventing struggling renters from accessing the assistance needed to remain in their homes when eviction moratoriums lift.


Without federal intervention, a tsunami of Connecticut residents – disproportionately Black and Latino renters – are expected to lose their homes in January. While Governor Ned Lamont’s administration has said it is committed to preventing evictions, there do not appear to be any immediate plans to extend or strengthen the state’s eviction moratorium or allocate additional funds into the rental assistance program.


CNN reports on the COVID-19 housing crisis, highlighting data indicating that tenants in Florida are among those at the highest risk of eviction due to a lack of tenant protections in the state. According to Administrative Judge Robert Lee of Broward County Court, evictions are expected to triple in the county during the first three months of 2021, from 5,000 to 15,000.

The Orlando Sentinel examines the pandemic’s impact on affordable housing projects in Central Florida. When the pandemic hit, local governments had to quickly shift their focus from building more affordable housing to standing up rental assistance and eviction prevention programs. Advocates and housing providers are concerned about an avalanche of eviction filings when the federal eviction moratorium expires on December 31.

Predictions of mass evictions prompted the Tallahassee City Commission to approve a $250,000 program aimed at landlords funded through existing local, state, and federal funding. In addition to establishing the Landlord Risk Mitigation Fund, city commissioners are exploring options to create outdoor shelters.


The Indianapolis Star reports that as Congress debates COVID-19 relief, Hoosiers’ are struggling to afford rent, food, and other basic needs. The Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition has joined NLIHC’s call for the CDC to extend and improve its federal eviction moratorium.

As of November, housing assistance was the state’s top unmet need and the second reason Hoosiers called Indiana 211.


A group of Louisville organizations wrote an op-ed in the Courier-Journal calling on Mayor Greg Fischer to use his authority to immediately establish a robust local eviction moratorium. Over 2,000 Louisville residents had filled out the form they created to email the mayor and ask him to use his emergency powers to enact a local eviction ban. Mayor Fischer penned an op-ed in the Courier-Journal announcing that he does not have the legal authority to implement an eviction moratorium.


An op-ed in the Bangor Daily News outlines the urgent need for COVID-19 relief for Mainers experiencing housing and food insecurity. One in three Maine households report being unable to meet basic household expenses, and 20,000 to 40,000 households are behind in their rent and at risk of eviction.


Residents in 100,000 households across Massachusetts face the risk of eviction if Governor Charlie Baker or the legislature fail to take action. Advocates are urging state legislators to pass the Guaranteed Housing Stability Act, legislation that would protect both renters and small landlords and establish a housing stability and recovery fund.


The Detroit Free Press reports that homeless shelters and service providers across metro Detroit are bracing for a surge in need as the temperature drops, COVID-19 cases soar, and federal and state eviction protections expire at the end of the month.

The Detroit Free Press discusses the various federal benefits that are set to expire this month, including the federal eviction moratorium and unemployment assistance. According to Michigan’s 211 dashboard, rental assistance and food pantries are among the top pandemic-related needs.

More than 50 organizations joined the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness in urging state leaders to add $20 million to the state’s Eviction Diversion Program.


A Missouri landlord removed the front door of a tenant’s home because she was two months late on rent – an action that violates state statutes. Legal Services of Eastern Missouri receives calls daily from tenants who are having their doors or locks removed, being locked out, or having their utilities shut off. These actions constitute unlawful evictions.

Approximately 50,000 households in the Kansas City metro area are at risk of homelessness. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas requested that Jackson County’s 16th Judicial Circuit extend and expand the eviction moratorium through June 2021.


Montana shelters are bracing for a high demand this winter when the eviction moratorium expires this month. Shelters in Montana have already seen growing demand in shelter needs from years of cost-of-living increases in the state.


Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced a new statewide residential eviction moratorium through March 31.

New York

Multiple sources say that while the New York State Senate has proposed a blanket eviction moratorium, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is pushing back against the proposal and advocating for a narrower measure.

North Carolina

North Carolina Chief Justice Cheri Beasley announced on December 11 that non-essential in-person court proceedings will be halted for 30 days due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Sixty eviction cases occurred in Forsyth County on Friday, December 11.

Eviction filings are on the rise in Mecklenburg County as federal stimulus programs are set to expire this month. Through the end of November, nearly 87,000 summary ejection complaints have been filed across North Carolina in civil district and civil magistrate courts this year. About a quarter of the approximately 8,000 eviction cases pending in North Carolina this fall were in Mecklenburg County.


Clackamas County has begun the process of purchasing a motel and converting it into a shelter for people experiencing homelessness. Elected board members, however, disagree over the plans, with one commissioner expressing confusion about whether the property, acquired under Project Turnkey, would provide shelter for wildfire survivors or other people experiencing homelessness.

Oregon tenant advocates are reporting an uptick in tenant harassment as landlords, unable to evict tenants due to the eviction moratorium, are pressuring renters to self-evict. A recent report from the Community Alliance of Tenants and Portland State University found that of the 460 renters surveyed, 22% reported “hostile, harassing, or threatening behavior from their landlords or property managers.” This rate rose to 32% for tenants who identified as BIPOC.


The Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board outlines the urgent need for Congress to extend the federal eviction moratorium and provide critical financial assistance to tenants, landlords, and homeowners.

Penn Live examines how the coronavirus and resulting social distancing guidelines have sharply cut shelter space in Harrisburg, complicating efforts to serve people experiencing homelessness this winter. The pandemic has exacerbated Harrisburg’s existing shortage of affordable housing and homeless shelters.


State or local health officials may need to take action to prevent up to 310,000 Tennessee families from losing their homes when the CDC eviction moratorium expires on December 31. State- or local-level health actions to delay evictions were discussed during a recent meeting organized by the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators.

According to the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, between 220,000 and 310,000 renters are behind on their rent. The amount of back rent owed is between $457 million to $559 million.


The University Star examines Texas’ eviction process, highlighting that the state’s laws favor landlords over tenants. The article discusses the movement for the right to legal counsel and the urgent need for emergency rental assistance.


The Salt Lake Tribune reports that while federal and state renter protections have dramatically reduced the number of evictions during the pandemic, hundreds of evictions each month are still taking place in Utah. Landlords have used a combination of loopholes in the law, a lack of enforcement, and the scarcity of legal representation for tenants to continue evicting renters despite the moratoriums.

Weber County advocates are warning of a surge of evictions when the federal eviction moratorium expires at the end of the year. While most of the county’s rental assistance funds are running out, the need for assistance remains high.


Rachael Myers of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance co-authored an op-ed in Crosscut outlining the urgent need for Washington legislators to address the impending but entirely preventable tsunami of evictions. The authors urge the governor to extend the state’s eviction moratorium to allow legislators to put longer-term solutions into place.

Washington DC

A judge in D.C. Superior Court ruled on December 17 that the District’s ban on new eviction filings during the pandemic is unconstitutional. While the decision does not permit actual evictions to occur, it paves the way for landlords to begin the eviction process and for future challenges to the moratorium.


Department of Housing and Urban Development

New Resources for DCTA Recipients and Smaller Distressed Communities

COVID-19 Homeless System Response: Victim Service Provider - Comparable Database ESG-CV Project Set-Up Tips

Materials Posted: CDBG-CV Webinar Series

National Association of Counties

County Economic Mobility Action Tracker