Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky announced on January 20 that the agency will extend its federal eviction moratorium until at least March 31, 2021.
Department of Agriculture
In one of his first acts in office, President Joe Biden requested federal agencies to extend eviction and foreclosure moratoriums. In response, the USDA announced an extension of eviction and foreclosure moratoriums on USDA Single Family Housing Direct and Guaranteed loans through March 31, 2021.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
In response to President Joe Biden’s request that HUD and other federal agencies extend protections for renters and homeowners, HUD extended its foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single-family mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) through March 31, 2021.
Department of the Treasury
Treasury re-published in final form in the Federal Register on January 15 the guidance it previously posted on its website regarding the Coronavirus Relief Fund.
Federal Housing Finance Administration
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) on January 19 announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will extend moratoriums on single-family foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) evictions until February 28, 2021.
President Joe Biden on January 20 signed an executive order instructing federal agencies to extend eviction and foreclosure moratoriums through March 31. “President Biden and the CDC Director must not only extend, but also strengthen and enforce the moratorium, and they must do so with all due haste,” NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel told HuffPost.
NPR reported on President Biden’s plans to extend the federal eviction moratorium through the end of March. “Without this action by President Joe Biden, millions of renters could have lost their homes during this surge in COVID-19,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel. However, she adds, the moratorium along is insufficient and needs to be strengthened and enforced.
The Washington Post reported that President Biden planned to sign an executive order extending the federal eviction moratorium. “Extending it is good and important, but on its own insufficient,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel. “The existing moratorium is flawed, and many tenants are being evicted in spite of the protections. It needs to be not only extended but strengthened and enforced.”
“The existing moratorium is flawed, and some landlords exploit loopholes to evict tenants despite the protections,” NLIHC’s Diane Yentel told CNBC. “No federal agency is enforcing the order’s penalties for unlawful evictions.” In addition to extending the moratorium, housing advocates are calling on the Biden administration to strengthen and enforce the moratorium. Advocates are also urging Congress to provide additional funding for emergency rental assistance.
CNN reports that President Biden called on several federal departments and agencies to extend their eviction and foreclosure moratoriums until at least the end of March. President Biden’s COVID-19 relief proposal would provide $35 billion in rent, utilities, and homelessness resources. The article cites NLIHC’s research note on the need for emergency rental assistance.
Bloomberg reported on President Biden’s plans to extend the federal eviction moratorium and ask the departments of Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development to consider extending foreclosure restrictions and forbearance relief.
NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel spoke to NBC News about why simply extending the CDC eviction moratorium is insufficient.
Next City discusses housing advocates’ expectations from the Biden administration. NLIHC Vice President of Public Policy Sarah Saadian says President-elect Biden’s “day one” priority should be extending the federal eviction moratorium through the duration of the pandemic and expanding it to automatically protect all renters.
CNet reports on the housing provisions and protections included in President-elect Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief proposal, linking to a Twitter thread on the proposal from NLIHC’s Diane Yentel. “All of these resources and protections are badly and urgently needed. And, we’ll still need more to ensure housing stability for low-income renters and to keep people experiencing homelessness,” tweeted Diane Yentel.
Vox reports on the homelessness crisis in the United States, noting that homelessness and the affordable housing crisis are policy choices. Rates of eviction and homelessness are expected to increase due to the pandemic, with 30 million renters at risk of eviction.
State and Local News
A list of state and local emergency rental assistance programs is available here from NLIHC.
NLIHC’s Diane Yentel spoke to ABC15 about the shortcomings of the CDC eviction moratorium, noting that loopholes in the order and a lack of enforcement have allowed some evictions to proceed despite the ban. According to the Maricopa County Justice Court, 3,174 eviction actions were filed in November.
The Los Angeles Times reports that California courts are bracing for eviction cases to double over the next year due to pandemic-related financial struggles. According to estimates from state court officials, landlords are expected to file 240,000 new eviction cases – twice the number of eviction cases filed in a typical year.
Negotiations surrounding extending California’s statewide eviction moratorium continue as the moratorium’s deadline draws nearer. Governor Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers must reach an agreement by January 31 to prevent the beginning of a statewide eviction tsunami. Between 240,000 and 700,000 California households are at risk of eviction for nonpayment of rent.
Connecticut housing advocates, anticipating a tsunami of evictions, are urging state officials to pass right to counsel legislation guaranteeing the right to free legal representation to all tenants facing eviction.
The Miami Herald reports that the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to extend the window of notification for evictions of month-to-month tenants to 30 days. While the CDC eviction moratorium prevents evictions from being carried out, judges have issued more than 2,000 Writs of Possession in Miami-Dade Court – the final document that will allow for eviction to occur as soon as the moratorium expires.
Spectrum News reports on Orange County’s COVID-19 eviction crisis, highlighting that many landlords and property managers have refused to participate in the county’s eviction diversion program. The article links to NLIHC’s national sign on letter urging the Biden administration to extend, strengthen, and enforce the moratorium.
Facing a looming eviction crisis, housing advocates in Hawaii are urging state officials not to cut funding for critical homelessness services.
The Washington Post editorial board highlights Maryland’s tilted court system that heavily favors landlords. A tsunami of new eviction filings is likely when COVID-19 eviction protections are lifted, and officials have scrambled to find stopgap funding for Maryland’s Legal Services Corporation that provides legal aid to low-income residents.
According to the Patriot Ledger, local nonprofits in Quincy and the surrounding area report that the pandemic has flooded them with requests for assistance from people experiencing job loss, food insecurity, and housing instability.
Community enCompass, a Muskegon social and community services organization, is preparing to broaden its eviction diversion and homelessness prevention efforts. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority told the organization to start “ramping up” for an estimated $11 million in housing assistance funds from the $25 billion emergency rental assistance (ERA) program Congress established in December.
The Kalamazoo Coalition for the Homeless is providing meals, propane tanks, heaters, tents, sleeping bags, and portable shelters to individuals experiencing homelessness in the area. The volunteer effort is focused on providing heat, shelter, and meals during January, February, and March.
Legal Aid of Nebraska has handled more than 800 eviction cases since March, with more than a third of those occurring in Lancaster County, and just over half in Douglas County. Many renters are unaware that they must take action to be protected by the federal eviction moratorium.
A new educational series to inform New Hampshire tenants about eviction law and tenants’ rights launched on January 20. The Eviction Clinic, organized by the New Hampshire Legal Assistance and the Legal Advice and Referral Center, will provide free online sessions each week.
New Hampshire housing advocates are applauding President-elect Joe Biden’s plan to extend the federal eviction moratorium on his first day in office. At the state level, advocates are hoping to put more resources into the affordable housing trust fund and the homeless shelter system.
New Jersey officials and shelter providers are grappling with difficult questions concerning COVID-19 vaccinations and individuals experiencing homelessness. The New Jersey Department of Health has not directly answered questions about what vaccine priority groups individuals experiencing homelessness fall into. While congregate settings fall into the first phase of the vaccine rollout, homeless shelters are not included on the state’s public list. According to a spokesperson, the state is still working to determine who will fall into the next phases.
Thirty-one New York senators asked the state Office of Court Administration to issue additional guidance on the eviction moratorium for local courts to ensure that the moratorium and its protections are applied uniformly across the state. Lawmakers have received multiple reports of judges disregarding the law and regulations.
WCNC outlines the steps North Carolina tenants must take to be protected under the federal eviction moratorium. Check out this podcast from the North Carolina Housing Coalition to learn more about the moratorium and available resources for North Carolina tenants.
An estimated 485,000 adult renters in North Carolina report they are not caught up on rent, and nearly three million adults reported difficulty in paying for usual household expenses. Legal Aid of NC can help residents navigate the process of receiving protections under the state and federal eviction moratoriums.
While the pandemic has not altered the underlying causes of housing security in Wayne County – low wages and a lack of affordable homes – it has exacerbated them. Community Legal Aid Services has been inundated with requests for eviction assistance in the past few months and has seen evidence that illegal evictions are on the rise.
The Oregon Legislature in December extended the state’s eviction moratorium through June 30, but the eviction protections are no longer automatic for tenants. Renters must complete and submit a sworn declaration of financial hardship to their landlords to be protected from eviction. The Oregon Law Center posted a guide to the new moratorium rules.
According to the Berks Coalition to End Homelessness, which received about $750,000 in federal money for homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing, estimates the need for aid in 2020 was five times greater than in 2019.
Housing advocates are bracing for a wave of evictions in Horry County, which has the highest unsheltered homeless population in the state. An estimated 35% to 52% of families across South Carolina will be at risk of losing their homes when the federal eviction moratorium is lifted at the end of January, with communities of color disproportionately harmed by the eviction crisis.
NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel spoke to FOX26 Houston about the shortcomings of the federal eviction moratorium. Diane also discussed the $25 billion emergency rental assistance program passed by Congress in December and President Biden’s COVID relief proposal that includes additional emergency rental assistance funds.
A low-income housing provider in North Idaho has agreed to pay $50,000 after evidence revealed that the company illegally threatened Spokane County tenants with eviction in April 2020, violating Governor Jay Inslee’s eviction ban.
Wisconsin housing advocates are hopeful about President Biden’s plan to extend the federal eviction moratorium and $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal that would include additional housing and homelessness resources. Evictions in Milwaukee County, however, are moving forward, with 130 eviction filings for the week of January 4 through January 8.
A coalition of Wisconsin advocates – the Rural and Urban Communities United in Solidarity Coalition, North Side Rising, Our Wisconsin Revolution, and Rise Wisconsin – started a petition urging state leaders to enact a statewide eviction moratorium and provide critical housing resources. Between 35,000 and 75,000 Wisconsin households are at risk of eviction when the CDC moratorium is lifted.
Department of Agriculture
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Vaccine Planning and Distribution: Roles and Responsibilities for Homeless Service Providers – Updated January 16, 2021
Department of the Treasury
Emergency Rental Assistance: Frequently Asked Questions – January 19, 2021
Emergency Rental Assistance: Payments to Tribal Communities – January 19, 2021