The Biden administration released a fact sheet on June 24 announcing initiatives to promote housing stability by supporting tenants and preventing foreclosures. Following the CDC’s decision to extend the eviction moratorium through July 31, the administration extended the foreclosure moratorium for federally backed mortgages by a final month until July 31. The administration is also ensuring that the 30-day eviction notice requirement for federally backed properties is enforced. Read the fact sheet for more information on the Biden administration’s actions to prevent evictions at: https://bit.ly/3gWgIiB
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
The CFPB outlines what renters need to know about the extended federal eviction moratorium.
Department of Agriculture (USDA)
The USDA announced the Biden administration extended the eviction moratorium for USDA multifamily housing communities through July, in accordance with CDC guidance. Beyond July 31, 2021, USDA will continue to offer emergency assistance to USDA multifamily housing property owners and tenants who are experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic. Additionally, the USDA extended through July 31, 2021, the foreclosure moratorium for properties financed by USDA Single-Family Housing Direct and Guaranteed loans.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is extending its foreclosure and eviction moratoriums for all FHA-insured single-family mortgages, except vacant or abandoned properties, through July 31, 2021. FHA on June 25 announced additional measures to help homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages who are struggling due to COVID-19.
Department of Justice
The Biden administration announced that Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta on June 24 sent a letter to state courts encouraging them to adopt anti-eviction diversion practices that will benefit families, tenants, landlords, and the courts themselves. The Justice Department’s letter points to actions that courts can implement immediately to help confront this problem. The letter also directs courts to federal resources they can use to support diversion programs and to tools developed by the National Center for State Courts that can help judges ensure landlords and tenants have an opportunity to tap into available resources and mediate their dispute.
Department of Treasury
The Treasury Department on June 24 released an updated frequently asked questions (FAQs) and fact sheet to continue supporting the rapid distribution of emergency rental assistance (ERA) by state and local governments. Treasury’s updated FAQs provide additional clarity for grantees that align with guidance and actions taken by other federal agencies. Treasury also released promising practices ERA programs have used to speed up program implementation, more efficiently deliver program benefits, and improve access to ERA.
FEMA is amending the agency’s COVID-19 funeral assistance policy to assist with COVID-19 related fatalities that occurred in the early months of the pandemic.
Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)
FHFA announced on June 24 it has extended the foreclosure moratorium for mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) until July 31, 2021. Additionally, servicers of Enterprise-backed mortgages will be prohibited from making most first filings for foreclosure that would be prohibited by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) Protections for Borrowers Affected by the COVID-19 Emergency Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Regulation X Final Rule before the CFPB rule takes effect.
The Washington Post reports the Supreme Court on June 29 voted 5-4 to keep the federal eviction moratorium in place until the end of July, rejecting the Alabama Association of Realtors’ request to lift the stay put in place by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The White House is ramping up efforts aimed at preventing evictions, in particular, by speeding the distribution of federal emergency rental assistance. These efforts are led in part by Gene Sperling, American Rescue Plan coordinator and senior advisor to President Biden. The Associated Press, NPR, New York Times, The Hill, NBC, Reuters, CBS, and CNN also reported on the Supreme Court’s decision to leave the CDC eviction moratorium in place.
NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel joined Morgan Radford on NBC Nightly News on June 24 to discuss the extension of the federal eviction moratorium and action needed to distribute emergency rental assistance to millions of renters facing eviction.
According to an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and the Associated Press, state leaders nationwide set aside at least $2.6 billion from the CARES Act’s Coronavirus Relief Fund for emergency rental assistance (ERA), but a year later, more than $425 million of that has not made it to tenants or landlords. “It could have saved lives,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel. “There has been pretty compelling, clear research that has shown in places where eviction moratoriums were allowed to expire and tenants were evicted for nonpayment of rent, it led to increases in deaths from COVID-19.”
The Hill reports on the Biden administration’s efforts to distribute billions of dollars in rental assistance to avert a wave of evictions this summer. “Time is of the essence, and we need to do everything in our power to prevent each and every painful unnecessary eviction that we can prevent,” said Gene Sperling, American Rescue Plan coordinator and senior advisor to the president, on NLIHC’s June 28 national call.
CBS News reports on research from the Eviction Lab showing that across nine major U.S. cities, the neighborhoods with the highest rates of eviction lawsuits are also the areas with the lowest vaccination rates. NLIHC Chief Operating Officer Paul Kealey said this research demonstrated the critical need to extend the federal eviction moratorium, an action NLIHC urged the Biden administration to take. The CDC extended the federal eviction moratorium through July 31, 2021.
State and Local News
Brian Wilson, executive director of the Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness, expressed concerns about a wave of evictions, since the state will not have the resources to prevent families and individuals from falling into homelessness. Read more about Alaska’s distribution of emergency rental assistance and how the courts are handling eviction hearings.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation (AB 832) on June 28 to extend California’s eviction moratorium through September and streamline emergency rental assistance to pay landlords 100% of unpaid rent.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says housing experts are concerned about a deluge of evictions in Georgia when the federal eviction moratorium is lifted on July 31. Between April 2020 and mid-June of this year, over 74,000 evictions had been filed in five Atlanta counties. Many more tenants owe back rent, with estimates ranging from 184,000 to 353,000 Georgians behind on their rent.
Andrew Bradley, policy director for Prosperity Indiana, says more than 45,000 evictions have been filed in Indiana during the pandemic, including nearly 16,000 in the Indianapolis metropolitan area. Indiana housing advocates are in a race against the clock to help Hoosiers struggling to pay their rent.
Iowa Legal Aid attorneys are concerned that evictions will spike once the CDC eviction moratorium ends, particularly because Iowa ended enhanced unemployment benefits this month, depriving recipients of $300 per week in federal aid. The number of inquiries Iowa Legal Aid received about evictions nearly doubled last year after the federal $600 a week boost to unemployment benefits expired.
Governor John Bel Edwards praised the Biden administration’s extension of the federal eviction moratorium through July and is encouraging struggling renters, homeowners, and landlords to apply for state housing assistance. About 50,000 renters and landlords have already applied for assistance through Louisiana’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program and similar programs administered by parishes across the state. More than $10.7 million has been awarded to renters and landlords through the state-administered emergency rental assistance program.
Eviction relief efforts are ramping up in Maine to prevent a wave of evictions when the federal eviction moratorium ends. MaineHousing and Pine Tree Legal have partnered to ensure tenants can access legal aid. Advocates, including the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition, say legal representation is one of the most effective ways for tenants to avoid eviction and the harmful effects of evictions. A bill in the Maine legislature would require landlords to inform tenants facing eviction of their legal options.
The Baltimore Sun reports United Way of Central Maryland is expanding rent assistance for Baltimore City and Baltimore, Harford, and Howard County residents as the federal and statewide eviction moratoriums approach their expiration dates. The nonprofit is partnering with local governments to expand its Strategic Targeted Eviction Prevention (STEP) program, which will pay landlords up to 12 months of back rent.
More than 6,400 residents have applied to New Hampshire’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program as of June 18, with about half of those applications approved. Approximately $20 million in aid has been distributed.
Governor Roy Cooper announced on June 29 that North Carolina’s eviction moratorium will end on July 1. Six North Carolina Republican officials voted Tuesday to end statewide eviction protections for renters starting Thursday, rejecting Cooper’s request to extend the state’s eviction moratorium by one month.
Ohio agencies distributing emergency rental assistance are in a race against the clock against evictions. Bill Faith, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, said the Biden administration’s decision to extend the moratorium through July could prevent thousands of Ohioans from losing their homes.
According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, a new Portland State University report estimates Oregon may need to spend $4.7 billion in the coming years to address the downstream consequences of tens of thousands of pandemic-related evictions.
Texas Housers’ Houston Eviction Solidarity Network reports on findings from the observational data it has collected on Harris County eviction courts over the past seven months. Texas Housers outlines several solutions policymakers, administrators, and court officials should adopt to better protect renters.
Governor Jay Inslee announced on June 24 an extension of the statewide eviction moratorium through September 30. Under the new order, landlords will be prohibited from evicting tenants for past-due rent accrued during the pandemic until an emergency rental assistance (ERA) program and eviction-resolution program are operating in their county. Starting August 1, renters will be expected to pay full rent, unless they have negotiated an alternative plan with their landlord or are seeking ERA. Under the new order, landlords must offer tenants a repayment plan before the eviction process is initiated.
A petition organized by the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance is calling on Governor Inslee to reassess his quarterly approach to extending the state’s eviction moratorium. The petition, which includes signatures from about 150 housing and homelessness organizations, asks Governor Inslee’s office to make the eviction moratorium permanent and instead enact a plan to repeal the moratorium on a county-by-county basis if those counties meet certain criteria.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
CDBG-CV Rural Coronavirus Response Quick Guide – June 2021
Department of Treasury
Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance: Frequently Asked Questions – Revised June 24, 2021
Treasury Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds: Frequently Asked Questions – Revised June 24, 2021