Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
HUD released a Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Eviction Prevention Grant Program, which will provide $20 million in grant funds to nonprofit and government entities providing legal aid to low-income tenants at risk of eviction. Applications are due September 8, 2021.
HUD announced on July 21 that it is making over $19 million available to help HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) agencies address discriminatory housing practices related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Provided through the American Rescue Plan Act, the funds will allow agencies to respond to fair housing inquiries, provide education and outreach activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and address fair housing issues impacting individuals facing housing instability, including those who may face displacement due to discriminatory evictions and foreclosures.
HUD is holding a two-day CARES Act Virtual Conference 2021 on July 27-28, 2021. The conference will address CDBG-CV, HOPWA-CV, and ESG-CV inspired topics related to the implementation of their respective CARES Act funding. Register for the conference at: https://hudcaresact.org/register/
Department of Treasury
Treasury announced that more than $1.5 billion in emergency rental assistance (ERA) was delivered to households in June. The monthly number of households served grew by about 85% over the previous month and nearly tripled since April. 290,000 households were served in June, up from 160,000 served in May and approximately 100,000 in April. While this represents significant progress, much more work is needed to ensure tenants and landlords can take advantage of this historic funding available to keep people housed.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on July 15 that in the first monthly payment of the expanded and newly-advanceable Child Tax Credit from the American Rescue Plan passed in March, roughly $15 billion dollars were paid to families that include nearly 60 million eligible children.
The Washington Post reports on new data from Treasury showing more than $1.5 billion in emergency rental assistance (ERA) reached households in June, more than the total distributed between January and May. NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel says efforts to ramp up assistance are having a positive effect, but ERA has not come close to reaching all households at risk of eviction. Only about $3 billion of the $46 billion Congress has provided has been spent on rent, utilities, and arrears.
NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel and Representative Ritchie Torres (D-NY) joined the Cross Connection on July 17 to speak about the affordable housing crisis and how to create a housing safety net in our country.
CBS News discusses the race to distribute billions in emergency rental assistance before the federal eviction moratorium ends on July 31. “If the federal eviction moratorium expires and this rental assistance doesn't reach tenants in time, we will be looking at a historic wave of families losing their homes this summer and fall with all the long-term consequences and long-term harm that that does to families and communities and the country,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel.
As the expiration of the CDC eviction moratorium looms, many tenants fear emergency rental assistance (ERA) will not reach them in time. “There's a cliff at the end of the federal eviction moratorium and unless states and cities do more and do it faster and better to get that emergency rental assistance to the tenants who need it, then we will see a historic wave of evictions and housing instability this summer and fall,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel.
NPR’s Morning Edition discusses California’s efforts to create permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness by purchasing and converting existing properties into nearly 6,000 new units. Advocates hope Project Roomkey and Homekey are evidence that California is starting to treat homelessness as the public health emergency it is. Diane Yentel, president and CEO of NLIHC, says Project Homekey has become a national model, with Washington and Oregon following in California's footsteps.
NLIHC’s Diane Yentel spoke to ABC7 News about the pandemic’s impact on low-income renters, efforts to distribute emergency rental assistance, and the need for long-term solutions. “The pandemic exposed and exacerbated the pre-existing affordable housing crisis,” said Diane.
The New York Times provides information on COVID-related eviction protections, unemployment insurance, student loans, and other pandemic relief programs that are expiring soon. Billions of dollars of federal emergency rental assistance (ERA) remain available, and NLIHC is tracking a list of state and local ERA programs.
State and Local News
In Phoenix, about $32 million of the $51 million the city received in federal emergency rental assistance (ERA) remains to be distributed. With the federal eviction moratorium expiring soon, the city is racing to distribute ERA to tenants in need. Housing advocates fear a flood of eviction filings in Phoenix, a city that regularly tops lists for the highest number of eviction filings nationwide, when the moratorium expires on July 31.
Connecticut housing advocates expect a surge of evictions and rise in homelessness when the federal eviction moratorium expires. The state developed the UniteCT Program to distribute roughly $400 million in federal emergency rental assistance. About $17.3 million had been approved for 2,352 households as of June 23. Advocates are urging state officials to require landlords to participate in the rental assistance program, noting that some are starting to evict tenants before applying for assistance.
With Hawaii’s eviction moratorium ending in August, Maui officials will join landlord and tenant attorneys, mediation administrators, and rent and utility administrators for a roundtable on available federal, state, and county support for struggling renters.
Illinois Governor Pritzker announced on July 14 that the state’s eviction moratorium will end on August 31. Governor Pritzker will issue an executive order on July 23 that will allow new eviction cases to be filed beginning August 1. A Chicago law will require landlords seeking to evict tenants to show proof that they attempted to work out an agreement during the two months after the state’s ban is lifted.
The Illinois Supreme Court announced it will implement a triage period during August in which state courts will focus on referring newly filed cases to state emergency rental assistance programs. Landlords filing evictions must prove they have provided tenants with a declaration form stating they are eligible for protection from eviction and that they have not received a completed form from the tenant.
Minnesota enacted a law on June 29 to phase out the COVID-19-based eviction moratorium. HOME Line posted a timeline of how the eviction moratorium phaseout will work, along with key facts and a list of frequently asked questions. HOME Line is also hosting a series of webinars on the eviction moratorium phaseout.
The Gothamist reports that as New Jersey courts face an avalanche of eviction cases, state Chief Justice Stuart Rabner issued a new order that changes some aspects of the court process for landlords and tenants. The changes include most of the recommendations issued by tenant advocates, landlord representatives, and court staff in April. Under the changes, all proceedings will occur remotely, and courts must provide both parties the opportunity to use technology on-site if necessary. Additionally, landlords must provide lease agreements and tenants must submit statements before trial.
A bill waiting for Governor Phil Murphy’s signature would protect tenants from being evicted for nonpayment if they certify that they were impacted by the pandemic and have applied for rental assistance.
Oregon Housing and Community Services is offering a free training on Monday, July 26 at 1 pm PT/4 pm ET for advocates and volunteers interested in helping low-income Oregonians apply for new federal rental assistance benefits. Join the Zoom meeting here.
CityLab highlights Philadelphia’s eviction diversion program, which has already averted hundreds of evictions and plans to circumvent thousands more. Since the program launched in September, landlords and tenants have had more than 2,300 sessions with mediators or counselors. The program has resulted in more than 1,500 successful mediations to date, with 90% concluding with payment arrangements or other positive resolutions.
The Texas Supreme Court on July 19 released a new emergency order extending the state’s voluntary eviction diversion program through October 1. The Texas Eviction Diversion Program, which creates an alternative to evictions when both tenants and landlords agree to participate, was set to expire on July 27.
Houston Public Media reports thousands of evictions filed in Houston that have been paused due to the federal eviction moratorium could resume when the moratorium expires at the end of July. Houstonians, unlike renters in New York, Los Angeles, Austin, and other states and localities that have enacted their own protections, will have no protections in place when the CDC eviction moratorium expires.
The expiration of the federal eviction moratorium on July 31 is raising concerns that thousands of Vermont residents – potentially more than 9,500 renters, according to census data from early June – could face eviction over the next two months. Vermont Public Radio reports that only 16% of the over 3,000 applications for Vermont’s emergency rental assistance program have received funds.
Virginia’s eviction moratorium has expired, and one of the state’s most significant eviction protections, the requirement that landlords apply for rent relief on their tenants’ behalf, will expire at the end of July.
D.C. lawmakers approved emergency legislation on July 13 that will gradually phase out tenant protections. Tenant advocates say the legislation does not provide adequate protection for people whose eviction cases were pending before the pandemic. Advocates are also concerned about lingering issues with the STAY DC application process, including its onerous application process.
Learn about the status of eviction moratoriums in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.
Homeless service agencies across Wisconsin, particularly in Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay, report growing numbers of people experiencing homelessness. About 67,000 families in Wisconsin are behind on rent, and almost that many more are concerned they are about to fall behind and face eviction. Milwaukee officials recently announced plans to use $30 million of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act Fiscal Recovery Fund allocation for affordable housing initiatives to address potential displacement of Milwaukee residents due to the economic effects of COVID-19.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
- CDBG-CV Co-Managing Disaster Recovery and CARES Act Programs Quick Guide – July 2021
- Notice CPD-21-08: Waivers and Alternative Requirements for the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program Under the CARES Act – July 19, 2021
- COVID-19 Homeless System Response: Long-Term Financing of Permanent Supportive Housing Projects – July 2021
- COVID-19 Homeless System Response: Project Funding and Structure Brief: Master Leasing – July 2021
- ESG-CV Prevent, Prepare, and Respond Tieback Flexibilities Quick Guide – July 2021