Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), incoming chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, has announced that housing affordability and access to housing will be a long-term priority for the committee. Senator Brown said his first priority will be to extend the CDC eviction moratorium and provide additional emergency rental assistance.
Department of Treasury
NLIHC’s DHRC will continue to push for a broad array of resources and protections, including emergency rental assistance and eviction prevention assistance, a national moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, and emergency funds for homelessness service providers, housing authorities, and housing providers, among other recommendations. For more information, see DHRC’s full list of recommendations.
The Kentucky Equal Justice Center updated its homerenter declaration app, which allows renters to generate a custom Declaration for their landlord. Renters must submit a Declaration to their landlord to receive protection under the CDC eviction moratorium. Learn more about the federal eviction moratorium.
Stacker compiled a list of resources in each state that help house and serve people experiencing homelessness.
The Associated Press reports that housing advocates across the country held rallies on January 13, calling on the incoming Biden administration to extend and strengthen the federal eviction moratorium. “The eviction moratorium has to be extended in order to continue to create protection for tenants while states and localities work to get emergency rental assistance out to tenants who need it most,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel.
NLIHC Vice President of Public Policy Sarah Saadian spoke to the Florida Phoenix about the COVID-19 housing crisis and solutions to address the affordable housing crisis. “President-elect Biden ran on a really strong housing platform that includes long-term solutions, too, so we know how to better address the next disaster that happens. We’ve learned there are really big gaps in our safety net systems,” said Sarah Saadian.
NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel spoke to ABC15 about the critical need for President-elect Biden to take immediate action to prevent tens of millions of renters from losing their homes. NLIHC will submit a national sign on letter to the Biden administration, urging them to extend, strengthen, and enforce the CDC eviction moratorium.
NLIHC’s Diane Yentel spoke with WFTV about the pre-pandemic affordable housing crisis in Florida and across the U.S. and the long-term solutions needed to address this crisis.
State and Local News
A list of state and local emergency rental assistance programs is available here from NLIHC.
Despite housing advocates’ calls for Governor Doug Ducey to allocate more funds for rental assistance, the governor’s State of the State address failed to mention any aid for the more than 200,000 Arizonans facing eviction and the 10,000-plus individuals experiencing homelessness.
The Arkansas Times compiled a list of resources for Arkansans in need of housing, healthcare, food, and other types of assistance.
The city of Hot Springs solicited proposals from nonprofit groups interested in overseeing the disbursement of nearly $130,000 in federal funds allocated for rent and utility assistance. The city board also allocated nearly $318,000 from the city’s CDBG-CV funds to acquire a quarantine shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness and low-income residents.
An unprecedented number of evictions and a rise in homelessness in Arkansas is expected when the CDC eviction moratorium expires on January 31. The U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey found that more than 425,000 Arkansans are behind on rent, and roughly half reported having zero confidence they can pay next month’s rent.
Marin County supervisors voted unanimously on January 12 to enact a five-month eviction ban. Landlords will be prohibited from evicting a tenant if the tenant provides a declaration of pandemic-related financial distress within 15 days of receiving notice demanding payment of rent. The ban will take effect February 1 and last through June 30.
Anticipating a wave of evictions in the near future, the city of Pasadena committed nearly $120,000 to cover legal fees for residents facing eviction. The funds, which are part of a $720,243 state grant from the California Emergency Solutions and Housing Program, will go to the Housing Rights Center, a local nonprofit that provides legal aid.
Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de León unveiled a plan on January 12 aimed at creating 25,000 housing units by 2025 for people experiencing homelessness.
The Right to Counsel movement is urging Los Angeles city and county to pass legislation providing legal aid to every tenant facing eviction. Studies indicate that up to 77% of tenants win their cases when they have legal representation, compared to 6% of tenants without legal aid.
Hillsborough County officials are scrambling to assist families facing eviction and those who are newly homeless. The county’s first rapid rehousing project under its 10-point pandemic response plan is now complete: a new home for up to 20 Hillsborough families partially funded by $1.25 million of the county’s Coronavirus Relief Fund.
Bay County is experiencing a surge in homelessness as many residents face eviction. Panama City is looking at more than 400 evictions when the CDC moratorium expires on January 31. Affordable housing remains a significant issue more than two years after Hurricane Michael, with many of the income-based apartment complexes in Bay County having not fully returned.
Loopholes in Hawaii’s eviction moratorium have allowed landlords to evict tenants. The moratorium, which remains in effect through February 14, prohibits landlords from raising rents and evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent. Landlords, however, are allowed to move back into their units or sell their properties under the moratorium.
The Iowa Supreme Court on December 30 issued a Supervisory Order supplementing previous forcible-and-detainer-related supervisory orders related to COVID-19. The new order extends the duration of the eviction moratorium issued on October 2 through January 31, 2021.
KSLA discusses concerns about what will happen to renters when the CDC eviction moratorium is lifted on January 31. Verni Howard, executive director for Providence House in Shreveport, reports that the pandemic is causing a boom in homelessness.
Governor Larry Hogan announced Maryland will receive $402 million through the Treasury Department’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program. The majority of the funding will be administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, with local jurisdictions managing the remainder of the funds.
The Baltimore City Council on January 11 unveiled a package of proposed housing legislation targeted at helping renters and homeowners struggling during the ongoing pandemic. The bills aim to suspend late fees for those receiving public housing subsidies, change how security deposits are paid, and close a loophole allowing people to be effectively evicted despite the moratorium.
To combat the loss of economic stability for many community members, the Cape Cod Housing Assistance Corporation is offering mortgage and rental assistance.
Ingham County, home to Lansing, is facing an eviction crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic fallout. The county has spent $2 million in federal coronavirus relief funding for emergency rental assistance.
MLive reports that the number of families in Kent County homeless shelters has doubled since the onset of the pandemic. While 82% of residents in the county are white, approximately 75% of the families needing shelter are people of color, with Black residents accounting for the majority of that number.
Homeless encampments in downtown St. Louis are being shut down. While some encampment residents are considering going to a shelter, others are moving to a different location due to safety concerns regarding shelters. Advocates are calling on the city to provide safer options for individuals experiencing homelessness. The city has provided 50 tiny homes for people experiencing homelessness, and officials expect the temporary housing village to be full by the end of January.
The Montana Eviction Intervention Program, a partnership between the Montana Department of Commerce and the Montana Legal Services Association, has provided attorneys to 100 households facing eviction since launching in October. The project is supported by a $70,000 grant through the CARES Act. Program partners want to extend the legal aid program, as many Montana renters remain at risk of eviction.
Governor Phil Murphy urged the New Jersey Legislature to pass a stalled housing relief bill, nicknamed “The People’s Bill,” that would give renters time to pay back rent and provide stronger mortgage forbearance.
Burlington County submitted an application to the Department of Treasury to obtain $13 million for an emergency rental assistance program. The county established a Housing Hub at the Burlington County Human Services Building, which has provided a total of 1,066 households with aid in 2020. Nearly 1,500 households received help from the Burlington County’s Rapid Rehousing Initiative.
The Wall Street Journal reports that New York City renters owe more than $1 billion in unpaid rent, according to a new survey conducted by the Community Housing Improvement Program, a landlord trade group.
Ohio Representatives David Leland (D-Columbus) and Jeffrey Crossman (D-Parma) introduced a bipartisan bill to halt evictions and foreclosures in Ohio amid the ongoing pandemic. The legislation adds additional protections and addresses the well-documented gaps in the CDC federal eviction moratorium. The bill would also extend the moratorium for the duration of the COVID-19 state of emergency at the state level.
Lancaster County housing organizations are seeking proposals from hotels willing to house people experiencing homelessness for four to six months, and possibly longer. Proposals will be accepted until noon on January 15.
While Washington’s eviction moratorium is in place through March 31, advocates are concerned about the lack of a comprehensive plan to address the full rent and consumer debt tenants have accumulated during COVID-19. Approximately 60,000 to 140,000 Washington residents are at risk of eviction or mortgage default. The COVID-19 relief package enacted by Congress provides $25 billion in emergency rental assistance, but experts warn it is far from enough to meet the overwhelming need.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and the West Virginia Housing Development Fund announced the launch of the Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program, which will be funded through the Treasury Department’s emergency rental assistance program.
Non-profit organizations and service providers report that Wyoming allocated far too small a percentage of CARES Act funds – less than half a percent – to eviction prevention and food insecurity efforts. The Wyoming Emergency Housing Assistance Program was originally funded at $15 million. By December, however, the program distributed only slightly more than 10% of the funding – $1.5 million – and returned the rest of the funds to the governor for reallocation. The CARES rental assistance program rejected one-third of the applications it received, in part due to its stringent qualification.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Department of Housing and Urban Development
HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing: FAQs for CDC Order Extension – Updated January 8, 2021
HUD’s Office of Special Needs COVID-19 FAQ: Continuum of Care (CoC) – January 7, 2021
Internal Revenue Service