Updated NLIHC Resources
NLIHC FAQ: Emergency Rental Assistance: This FAQ provides additional clarity on duplication of benefits. Individuals living in federally assisted housing, such as households supported by the Housing Choice Voucher program, who need rental assistance should be able to receive CRF emergency rental assistance. If someone receives one month of rental assistance through the CARES Act, they would not be eligible to receive additional CRF rental assistance for the same month. However, households that received CARES Act funds for rental assistance previously but are no longer receiving that assistance and still need help should be able to receive new CRF rental assistance. Treasury may offer additional clarity around the issue in future guidance.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) on December 21 announced it is extending the foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single family FHA-insured mortgages for an additional two months through February 28, 2021.
Department of Treasury
The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the launch of the $25 billion Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. States, U.S. territories, local governments with more than 200,000 residents, and tribal communities are now able to enroll in the ERAP through a web portal by providing payment information and accepting award terms.
Federal Housing Finance Agency
FHFA announced on December 23 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue to offer COVID-19 forbearance to qualifying multifamily property owners through March 31, 2021.
“We are urging President-elect Biden on his first day and hour in office, as one of a set of emergency actions that we expect him to take, to sign a new executive order and implement a new strengthened and enforced eviction moratorium for the duration of the pandemic,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel on BBC World News.
NLIHC’s Diane Yentel spoke to News Nation Now about the critical housing provisions in the COVID-19 relief bill and the need for more comprehensive solutions.
“Eviction moratoriums are an essential protection because they keep tens of millions of people housed who would otherwise be losing their homes in the middle of this pandemic,” NLIHC’s Diane Yentel told Yahoo Finance. Diane discussed the critical need for additional housing resources and protections.
NLIHC’s Diane Yentel spoke to Denver7 about the $25 billion in emergency rental assistance enacted in the COVID-19 relief package and NLIHC’s work to track and analyze state and local emergency rental assistance programs.
Millions of renters in the U.S. are facing eviction legal battles without legal aid. Fewer than ten cities and counties guarantee tenants the right to a lawyer in housing-related disputes. While the push for the right to counsel preceded the pandemic, it is particularly urgent in light of the looming eviction crisis.
Popular Science discusses how a new wave of evictions in 2021 could fuel a rise in COVID-19 cases. Without extending eviction protections beyond January, tens of millions of people will face eviction, further exacerbating the pandemic’s public health impacts.
State and Local News
A list of state and local emergency rental assistance programs is available here from NLIHC.
The Pima County Constables Office has hired a social worker to help prevent homelessness and connect individuals to needed services. At least 146 eviction hearings were scheduled in the county for the first week of 2021, and that number is expected to surge once the CDC eviction moratorium expires at the end of January.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on January 6 to extend and expand both a local rent relief program and an eviction moratorium. Changes to the rent relief program will expand eligibility and align the county program with conditions that apply to new federal rent relief funds. The eviction moratorium is extended through February 28.
The LA Times editorial board reports on the alarming surge in COVID cases among people experiencing homelessness in LA and the urgency of moving individuals into motels, hotels, or apartments, not into congregate settings.
Los Angeles County homeless shelters are overwhelmed by COVID-19. Homeless service providers, encampment residents, local officials, and street medical teams are working to keep people safe from coronavirus, but more resources are desperately needed.
Leaders of Brevard County aid organizations state that despite federal eviction protections extended through January, the area faces a looming eviction crisis, with many tenants falling too far behind on rent to catch up.
An op-ed in the Tallahassee Democrat outlines immediate steps the city should take to address its homelessness and eviction crisis. Recommendations include enacting an eviction moratorium, establishing a forgiveness program for unpaid utilities, and funding social service providers, among others.
Iowa housing and homeless service providers are struggling to meet the ongoing demand for rental assistance and transitional housing. Some families avoided homelessness by continuing to live in buildings damaged by the August derecho, but winter weather is forcing them out of their units.
Baltimore officials have extended emergency contracts to house approximately 500 individuals experiencing homelessness residing at five city hotels for three more months. The contracts were set to expire at midnight on December 31 but will remain through the end of March.
Despite Maryland’s eviction moratorium, landlords have used loopholes to continue evicting tenants.
According to the annual report of the New Hampshire Coalition to End Homelessness, the number of people experiencing homelessness was rapidly growing before COVID-19, and the pandemic has escalated that growth.
According to the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness, state homeless shelters are concerned about reduced funding amid the ongoing pandemic and surges in homelessness and housing insecurity.
The New York Legislature on December 28 passed one of the most comprehensive eviction moratoriums in the nation. The law places a moratorium on evictions until May 1 for tenants who endured a “COVID-related hardship.”
The New York Times discusses the looming eviction crisis that threatens to overwhelm schools, homeless shelters, and food pantries.
The expiration of federal coronavirus relief funding prompted the closure of Washington County’s Sleep Safe RV program, which provided access to resources for people living in RVs during the pandemic. The program hosted more than 60 people while it was open.
Bucks County has awarded nearly $2 million in Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) to assist residents facing eviction. In 2020, the county used multiple funding streams, including CARES Act funds, to help more than 500 families avoid losing their housing.
Houston housing advocates agree that the city must consider two critical issues when distributing the federal emergency rental assistance funds recently enacted in the COVID-19 relief bill: speed and reaching households most in need.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Toolkit for People Experiencing Homelessness – Updated January 6, 2021
Toolkit for Shared and Congregate Housing – Updated January 6, 2021
Department of Agriculture Rural Development
Department of Housing and Urban Development
National Health Care for the Homeless Council