Department of Housing and Urban Development
Listen to and read HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge’s remarks at the White House press briefing on March 18 on the American Rescue Plan Act and housing.
Join the American Bar Association Disaster Legal Services Program, Equal Justice Works, Pro Bono Net, and Lone Star Legal Aid on Wednesday, March 31 from 12-1 pm ET for a renewed version of best practices in working with FEMA. Attendees will hear from speakers from across regions who have responded to the needs of communities and families affected by the coronavirus pandemic and natural disasters, along with an opportunity for others to share their best practices and tips. Register for the webinar here.
NPR reports the CDC has sent a proposal to extend the federal eviction moratorium to the Office of Management and Budget for regulatory review. Housing advocates have warned that allowing the moratorium to lapse before emergency rental assistance funds reach households would result in a tsunami of evictions.
The American Prospect reports on the CDC’s proposed extension of the eviction moratorium, noting the urgent need for the Biden administration to extend and improve the moratorium.
Prioritizing vaccines for people experiencing homelessness is vital to an equitable and effective public health response, write Margot Kushel, Barbara DiPietro, and Bobby Watts. Bringing COVID-19 vaccines to people experiencing homelessness requires a tailored approach.
The American Independent explores how the American Rescue Plan will help address the COVID-19 eviction crisis.
An op-ed in the Washington Post examines why there have been rent hikes on lower-quality housing and steep discounts on luxury apartments during the pandemic. The American Rescue Plan, which includes funding for emergency rental assistance and vouchers, will help many tenants. Alleviating rent pressure, both during the pandemic and beyond, however, will require expanding the supply of affordable housing.
State and Local News
Pima County will use $2 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to pay for legal counsel for families facing eviction. In 2019 and 2020, 95% of eviction proceedings in Pima County went forward without a tenant, meaning there was no defendant and no legal representation for the tenant.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Alan Fine issued an injunction prohibiting Florida City from evicting roughly 70 people from a trailer park it owns and plans to sell to developers. Judge Fine wrote that evicting the residents would not only be unlawful but force them into homelessness amid the ongoing pandemic and drastic economic fallout.
Despite the federal eviction moratorium, the city of Boise and the Boise City Ada County Housing Authority have continued to evict some tenants. A Boise spokesman says the evictions were filed against tenants who either could not be contacted to be connected for services or fell outside the protections of the CDC order.
A new state bill, HB 2877, would seal COVID-related evictions, making it easier for tenants in Illinois to obtain housing. The measure would seal evictions from March 2020 through March 2022.
The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting finds that uncooperative landlords have blocked hundreds of tenants in Kentucky from accessing emergency rental assistance (ERA). While federal regulations for Treasury’s ERA program allow renters to receive funding directly if landlords will not cooperate, local administrators for the state’s three ERA programs have decided not to adopt this policy.
A proposed ordinance in Louisville would provide an attorney to families with children going through the eviction process. The ordinance, proposed by Metro Councilwoman Cassie Chambers Armstrong, is supported by the Urban League, the Coalition for the Homeless, the Metropolitan Housing Coalition, and others.
Online applications for Phase II of New Jersey’s COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program are now being accepted.
According to the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, there has been an increase in self-help evictions during the pandemic, particularly over the last month. There are concerns that a wave of evictions will occur when the eviction moratorium is lifted, causing a potential spike in coronavirus infections.
A local tenant advocacy group, the Pittsburgh Union of Regional Renters, is accusing Mayor Bill Peduto and other officials of not enforcing the city’s eviction moratorium. At the same time, local landlord groups are declaring the city's eviction moratorium unconstitutional and filing lawsuits to have the ban overturned.
Chattanooga’s nonprofit and government leaders are bracing for an onslaught of eviction cases that will hit the city's already-strained housing market. There are roughly 18,600 households at risk for eviction in Chattanooga when the moratorium expires. There are an additional 364 unsheltered individuals in Hamilton and Bradley counties – an 81% increase since last year.
Eviction filings in Travis County continue to increase as national and local eviction moratoriums are set to expire in about two weeks. Austin Mayor Steve Adler has not said whether the city will extend the eviction moratorium.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports some Utah landlords are evicting survivors of domestic violence. The Utah Domestic Violence Coalition in October 2020 reported seeing a 25% to 50% increase in domestic violence calls for service during the pandemic. Advocates worry that evictions re-victimize individuals facing domestic violence, and too often, the loss of housing can be used as a legal weapon by abusers.
Governor Jay Inslee extended Washington state’s eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021.
Department of Treasury