Politico reports that a growing number of Republican lawmakers, including Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), chair of the Senate Banking Committee, want the party’s leadership to include rental assistance and an eviction moratorium in the next economic relief package. Politico also reports that Senator Crapo is urging federal agencies to extend economic relief measures. In a letter to housing and bank regulators, Senator Crapo urged officials to use their authority to continue eviction protections and loosen lending rules.
“Democrats will not stop fighting to extend the moratorium on evictions AND provide assistance to renters in this crisis. #RentReliefNow,” tweeted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on August 5.
Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) co-authored an op-ed in The Hill urging Congress to take immediate action to prevent the public health and economic crisis from becoming a homelessness crisis. Senator Coons urges Congress to extend federal supplemental unemployment insurance benefits, enact the “Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act,” and pass the “Coronavirus Housing Counsel Improvement Act.”
The Hill reports that former Vice President Joe Biden is urging Congress and President Trump to enact an emergency housing package.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
HUD is holding a webinar on August 12 at 2-3:30 pm ET: Responding to the Housing Challenges Posed by the Pandemic: Session 2. The webinar will delve deeper into how jurisdictions can use CDBG-CV funds to support their efforts and how jurisdictions can formulate a housing strategy that is responsive to changing community needs, priorities, and funding opportunities. Learn more and register here.
In the face of recent weather disturbances, FEMA and Puerto Rico’s Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience approved over $16 million in additional grants for repairs after Hurricane Maria.
Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA)
FHFA announced on August 6 that multifamily property owners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac who enter into a new or modified forbearance agreement must inform tenants in writing about tenant protections during the property owner’s forbearance and repayment periods. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are also improving their online multifamily property loan look-up tools.
FHFA approved an extension of a temporary policy that allows for the purchase of certain single-family mortgages in forbearance that meet specific eligibility criteria set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The policy is extended for loans originated through August 31, 2020.
The NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition 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 American Bar Association passed a resolution urging federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to prevent an eviction crisis, housing insecurity among renters, and destabilization of the housing market by providing rental assistance and excluding COVID-19-related evictions from tenant screening practices.
NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel, Peter Hepburn of Eviction Lab, and Sam Gilman of the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project spoke about the unprecedented wave of evictions that will occur in the coming months. “It’s very clear that if the federal government doesn’t intervene – and do it soon – we will have a tremendous wave of evictions and a spike in homelessness across the country,” said Diane Yentel. Watch the Washington Post video here.
The Washington Post reports that experts and renters are bracing for an unprecedented eviction crisis in the coming months as discussions about the next coronavirus relief package have stalled. “In many ways, the [eviction] wave has already begun in places where eviction moratoriums have lifted,” said Diane Yentel.
The Nation interviewed Diane Yentel, president and CEO of NLIHC, and Emily Benfer, co-creator of the Princeton Eviction Lab’s COVID-19 Housing Policy Scorecard, to discuss the unprecedented wave of evictions that our country will experience if Congress does not intervene.
The Washington Journal interviewed NLIHC’s Diane Yentel to discusses coronavirus' effect on renters now that the federal moratorium on evictions has expired.
USA Today reports that Black and Latino households make up a disproportionate share of people in America who reported having little to no chance of being able to pay August’s rent. “Our housing system reflects tremendous disparities in race. And people of color are most at risk for evictions,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel. “These inequities are being compounded by COVID-19.”
The Washington Post published an op-ed on the affordable housing crisis by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Carrol Fife, director of the Oakland office of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. The piece makes the case that Congress must immediately pass strong federal legislation to guard against the coming wave of evictions and foreclosures, including emergency rental assistance. Longer term solutions include passage of the “American Housing and Economic Mobility Act,” which would invest $445 billion in the national Housing Trust Fund over ten years.
KCUR (Kansas City Public Radio) highlights the impact of evictions on children. “Even before the pandemic we had an affordability crisis,” said Mike Koprowski, national director for the NLIHC-led Opportunity Starts at Home Campaign. “We think there’s going to be a wave of evictions if Congress doesn’t act on another relief package. It’s going to further disrupt kids whose lives and learning processes have already been upended by school closures.”
A new analysis by Politico found that federal housing aid during the coronavirus pandemic disproportionately benefits white households over minorities, with Black households most at risk. The federal assistance favors homeowners over renters, and because white households are more likely to own homes—a long-standing trend with roots in racist housing policy—they have more access to aid. Black households are more likely to rent than any other group, so they will be hardest hit with evictions likely to proceed in states without moratoriums, including Texas and Georgia.
The Washington Post Power Up discusses housing advocates’ concerns about the eviction cliff, as well as activities on Capitol Hill regarding the next coronavirus relief package. While Congress is negotiating a deal on eviction protections, President Trump has threatened to take unilateral action if a deal is not finalized.
The Associated Press reports on experts’ concerns that many states are bracing for a wave of evictions as moratoriums expire. Along with exacerbating an existing affordable housing crisis, the spike in eviction filings is raising concerns that housing courts could spread the coronavirus.
An op-ed in the Hill makes the case that there has never been a more opportune moment to make a permanent and equitable investment in housing for people experiencing homelessness.
Yahoo reports that, without federal intervention, up to 40 million Americans may face eviction in the next several months, and the crisis will disproportionately impact communities of color, especially women. The article provides an overview of solutions that the U.S. can take to prevent the looming eviction crisis.
An article in Health Affairs examines the connection between evictions, COVID-19, and health equity. The authors discuss various policy solutions to stem the tide of evictions and explore the critical role that the health care sector plays in advocating for eviction prevention measures and sustainable affordable housing solutions.
The Markup reports on the harmful long-term impacts that COVID-19-related eviction filings will have on tenants. Regardless of whether eviction filings end up in a payment plan or an eviction, any filing or debt to a past landlord can stain a renter’s record and limit their housing options for years.
CNN’s Alexandra Field reports on the many challenges facing people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic and the dire predictions that millions of people could become homeless as a result of COVID-19 and its economic fallout.
Bloomberg reports on the pandemic’s impact on affordable housing production and the urgent need for Congress to enact emergency housing assistance. “We have this immediate need for $100 billion in rental assistance just to keep people housed now. And that doesn’t address the need for permanent affordable housing,” said NLIHC Vice President of Research Andrew Aurand. “Even in the face of this pandemic, all evidence points to the fact that the Republican proposal may not have any money for housing or a pittance,” said NLIHC Vice President of Public Policy Sarah Saadian. “If this moment doesn’t motivate you to support housing, what will?”
The New York Times examines how overcrowding, not density, has defined many coronavirus hot spots. Evictions are already ramping back up, and many people who are evicted may be forced into overcrowded living situations, compounding the conditions that increase the spread of the coronavirus.
The Washington Post reports that in recent weeks, Latinos and Native Americans have made up an increasing share of COVID-19 deaths. In both hotspot states and states where the total number of deaths has decreased, Latinos make up an increasing share of those deaths. Overcrowded housing, exposure to air pollution, and jobs in the meatpacking industry place Latinos at particularly high risk for coronavirus infection and death.
Invisible People posted an article outlining the urgent need for Congress to enact $100 billion in emergency rental assistance. The article discusses NLIHC’s rental assistance database and the “Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act.”
Matthew Desmond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and principal investigator at Princeton University’s Eviction Lab, spoke with Democracy about the looming eviction crisis.
In an MSNBC interview, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) expressed confidence that there will be an agreement on the next relief package. Speaker Pelosi also said that while President Trump might be able to extend the eviction moratorium through an executive action, it would be of limited use without money for rental assistance attached. Speaker Pelosi told CNBC that she hopes President Trump takes steps to extend the eviction moratorium, but noted that a moratorium on its own is insufficient.
Stateline discusses housing advocates’ concerns about the looming eviction crisis. “Eviction moratoriums, on their own, aren’t enough,” said Diane Yentel. “They must be paired with substantial and sustained rental assistance.”
According to the Washington Post, the Trump administration has asked federal agencies to identify the CARES Act funds that they have not yet spent. White House officials are trying to determine whether these dollars could be redirected and used for other purposes, like emergency rental assistance or temporary unemployment benefits.
Axios Re:Cap spoke with Alieza Durana of the Eviction Lab at Princeton University about the looming eviction crisis.
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has already set records for activity. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that this will be an “extremely active” hurricane season. The risk of hurricanes presents a challenge to many communities already struggling to address housing instability, homelessness, COVID-19, and its economic fallout.
State and Local News
A list of state and local emergency rental assistance programs is available here from NLIHC.
The Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness wrote a letter to Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) thanking her for speaking with the coalition and reiterating their policy asks for the next coronavirus relief package. The coalition’s policy priorities include $100 billion in emergency rental assistance, a national, uniform eviction moratorium, and $11.5 billion in resources for people experiencing homelessness.
An op-ed in the Anchorage Daily News urges Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to protect renters in the next coronavirus relief package. The article cites NLIHC’s research that estimates that renters in Alaska who have lost work due to COVID-19 will need $164 million in emergency rental assistance between now and next summer.
In his July 16 executive order expanding the eviction moratorium, Governor Dough Ducey said, that renters who wanted to defer a pending eviction have until Aug. 21 to notify their landlord in writing of a COVID-19 hardship and request a payment plan. With that deadline around the corner, few renters have filed for this support.
The California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council released a “Guide to Strategic Uses of Key State and Federal Funds to Reduce Homelessness During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Access the guide here.
The Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley estimates that nearly three-quarters of the 903,000 renter households impacted by COVID-related job losses in California are households of color (i.e., the household includes at least one Black, Latinx, Asian, or other person of color).
The San Francisco Chronicle reports on several bills moving through the California legislature that would prevent a looming eviction crisis. The legislature, however, has less than a month left in its pandemic-shortened session to address the impending surge of evictions.
State Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and a group of public health officials expressed concern about a potential wave of evictions across the state and called for continued emergency protections for renters.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Charles Haines upheld Supervisor Dean Preston’s ordinance blocking COVID-19-related evictions for nonpayment of rent during the pandemic.
Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese is calling on the federal government to provide robust resources and urging county officials to take steps to prevent a surge of evictions. Cortese is working on a plan that would enable tenants and landlords to develop repayment plans before they become legal disputes.
The Los Angeles Times editorial board urges Governor Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers to enact strong tenant protections before the Judicial Council ends the statewide eviction moratorium.
The Napa County Board of Supervisors extended its eviction moratorium until September 30. The county recently surveyed approximately 240 tenants and found that, together, they owed $180,000 in back rent.
The Durango Herald discusses the urgent need for Congress to pass a package that includes emergency rental assistance to prevent a wave of evictions. The article mentioned NLIHC’s criticism of the Republican proposal, citing Diane Yentel’s statement that the proposal would do next to nothing to avoid this predictable and preventable disaster.
The Boulder Weekly reports that the Princeton University Eviction Lab predicts that without further statewide action and support, Colorado could see a surge of evictions in the coming weeks or months.
While Governor Ron DeSantis extended Florida’s eviction and foreclosure moratorium until September 1, the extension included changes that will protect fewer families from being evicted. The new order only suspends the “final action” in court, which housing lawyers interpret as meaning that new cases will be allowed to proceed until the final judgment. Many tenants will be responsible for proving in court that they have been impacted by the pandemic. To raise that defense, tenants will be required to deposit the entire amount of unpaid rent to court within five days of receiving their notice. Even with the extended moratorium, housing advocates in Osceola County are concerned about a wave of evictions and rise in homelessness in the coming months. The Orlando Sentinel reported on Governor Ron DeSantis’ extended eviction moratorium, calling attention to advocates’ concerns that the changes the governor made to the moratorium will result in a flood of evictions.
WABE reports that while in Georgia many courts have paused in-person eviction hearings for the time being, thousands of evictions have been filed in Fulton, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties since March.
Despite Hawaii’s eviction moratorium, tenant advocates report that landlords have been using illegal tactics to evict tenants. Advocates are also concerned that a new rule approved by the Hawaii Public Housing Authority to enact strict social distancing requirements will result in increased evictions across the state.
More than 400,000 Hoosiers would lose, on average, 46% of their unemployment benefits under the proposed federal HEALS Act. The director of the Indiana Institute for Working Families said that the supplemental $600 unemployment benefit under the CARES Act was critical in preventing a housing and food crisis.
The Kokomo Housing Authority, which oversees 500 federally subsidized housing units in the city, has already seen a spike in the number of people asking for assistance, a number that will likely increase once the statewide eviction moratorium lifts. Advocates, including the Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition, argue that the Indiana COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program will not meet the overwhelming need for assistance.
Governor Eric Holcomb announced on August 5 that the Indiana COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program will receive an additional $15 million. The boost will make a total of $40 million in assistance to Hoosiers.
The Illinois Housing Development Authority will launch a new rental assistance program that could help approximately 30,000 tenants struggling to keep a roof over their heads. IHDA is opening Monday for $5,000 grants to catch up on payments since March or cover payments through December.
The City of Aurora’s Innovation Department has established the Aurora Rental Assistance Program and is funded with $500,000 of federal money. Across the state, Governor J.B. Pritzker has issued an eviction moratorium, which began in March and has been extended through August 22.
The Johnson County Affordable Housing Coalition highlights that the coronavirus pandemic has not created a housing crisis, but it has deepened existing inequalities and created more urgency around housing problems. Statewide and local programs are still providing aid to renters and homeowners who face a loss of income due to COVID-19.
Nearly one million renter households across the Ohio Valley are at risk of eviction: 42% of renter households in Kentucky, 46% in Ohio, and 47% in West Virginia. “What we need as a city government is extra funds not only to provide the services we’ve all come to expect, but to soften the impact of what we know is coming,” said Lexington Vice Mayor Steve Kay. “Hopefully, Senator McConnell and the rest of our delegation is listening to what we have to say.”
Adrienne Bush, executive director of the Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky, urged lawmakers to enact a nationwide, uniform eviction moratorium, appropriate $11.5 billion through the Emergency Solutions Grants program, and allocate $100 billion to emergency rental assistance.
Fair Tide Housing has disbursed $15,000 in COVID-19 emergency response funds to Maine households impacted by the pandemic. Like many nonprofit organizations across the country, Fair Tide Housing has seen a loss of income and the growing impact of the crisis. been impacted by the pandemic.
The Baltimore Sun editorial board writes that temporary rent control measures enacted by local governments in Maryland are a reasonable protection given the pandemic. The article references a lawsuit filed by a group of nearly two dozen landlords who objected to rent control measures in Baltimore, Howard County, and in the city of Salisbury.
The D.C. Tenants’ Union, Stomp Out Slumlords, and the local Democratic Socialists of America chapter organized a demonstration outside of a home in Chillum to protest an illegal eviction.
Boston’s WGBH discusses the Rhode Island Safe Harbor Program, a $7 million initiative between the state government and the United Way of Rhode Island to head off evictions through mediation and rental assistance. Massachusetts lawmakers and some landlords say that the initiative is worth exploring as the state awaits additional federal aid.
Eviction diversion assistance, funded through the CARES Act, is now available in Berrien County. Out of the $50 million being distributed statewide for rent assistance through Michigan’s COVID-19 Eviction Diversion and Rental Assistance Program, Berrien County received nearly $500,000.
Detroit News reports that the eviction process has resumed in Michigan—except in Detroit, which extended its eviction moratorium until August 17. An estimated 457,000 (43%) of Michigan renter households are at risk of losing their homes, and Black renters are disproportionately represented among renters who report “no or slight confidence” that they can pay next month’s rent.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan are highlighting state benefits and assistance programs. In addition to an executive order that halted evictions during the peacetime emergency, Walz and Flanagan have also put $100 million in CARES Act funding into housing assistance.
The Clark County Commission on August 4 voted unanimously to approve an emergency ordinance to ban housing discrimination based on source of income or prior evictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Nevada legislature passed a bill with bipartisan support on August 3 to empower courts to delay evictions for up to 30 days until they can be resolved through alternative mediation.
Up to 142,000 Nevada households may face eviction once the statewide eviction moratorium expires on September 1. The Nevada Senate passed a bill that would provide an alternative dispute resolution for renters. The bill would allow tenants facing eviction to remain in place for 30 days while they work out a mediation with their landlords.
Approximately 8,000 people were selected for New Jersey’s $100 million COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program. More than 60,000 residents applied to the program, hoping to be selected through the online lottery.
Despite New Jersey’s eviction moratorium, more than 15,000 renters are facing eviction. Another 450,000 households across the state—40% of renters—will be unable to afford August’s rent payment, and New Jersey could see as many 304,000 eviction filings in the next four months.
NJTV News discusses what tenants and homeowners can do if they are being harassed to pay and threatened with eviction or foreclosure. “You have landlords that are trying to really bamboozle people into accepting agreements that are not in their best interest, where they’re not being adequately represented and that’s wrong,” said Arnold Cohen, senior policy advisor for the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, an NLIHC state partner.
While the temporary eviction moratorium ordered by the New Mexico Supreme Court and the City of Santa Fe remains in place, housing experts warn of a looming eviction crisis.
As many as 400,000 families across New York City could end up in housing court as the state’s eviction moratorium partially expires on August 5. Governor Andrew Cuomo extended protections for tenants who have been impacted by the pandemic. Still, tenants must gather the necessary paperwork, find an attorney, and go to court to argue their case. The Wall Street Journal also reports that thousands of New Yorkers could be evicted in the coming weeks after the state’s eviction ban expires on August 5.
CBS New York reports that, according to a new study, 1.5 million New Yorkers are unable to pay August rent and are at risk of eviction.
Bill Faith, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, an NLIHC state partner, spoke about the pandemic’s impact on low-income renters on The State of Ohio.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the City of Norman paused terminations on delinquent water, sewer and trash utility accounts in May. Beginning this week, terminations will resume on accounts that have not paid per the city’s policy for collection. Support for rental and utility assistance is available through the city.
With a statewide eviction moratorium ending this fall, Jackson County has teamed up with United Way to distribute $500,000 to keep struggling households from tumbling off a rent cliff.
Join Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico on August 12-13 for its Second Annual Towards a Just Recovery Summit: The Right to Decide, Stay, and Return. The event will be held in a remote format and will bring together people from communities, grassroots organizations, activists and advocates for housing, racial justice, and dignified recovery in and outside of Puerto Rico. NLIHC Vice President of Public Policy Sarah Saadian will speak at the event. Here are links to the agenda and registration form.
The Deep Well Project, a nonprofit financial assistance organization on Hilton Head Island, says non-profits have been able to support people on the verge of eviction. In more rural areas, however, such financial help may not be available. South Carolina has the country’s highest eviction filing rate, at 18.7%, according to the Eviction Lab at Princeton University.
Texas Housers interviewed local officials, administrators, and experts in nine major cities and counties across Texas to learn about how local governments have designed and implemented rental assistance programs. The organization released a white paper identifying the successes and failures in rental relief disbursement.
Lone Star Legal Aid, which has seen an increase in people applying for assistance amid the pandemic, encourages tenants to seek help before evictions are filed. The Waco Housing Authority also suggests that tenants work with them on a repayment agreement to prevent evictions from being filed.
The Deseret News examines the pandemic’s potential long-term impacts on children, including the harmful effects of housing insecurity on children.
The Utah Department of Workforce Services announced on August 5 that people who are receiving unemployment benefits are now eligible to receive rental assistance. Previously, only renters who were not receiving unemployment benefits were eligible. Since the program launched in May, it has helped 285 Utah households to remain in their homes.
Tara Rollins, executive director of the Utah Housing Coalition, an NLIHC state partner, expressed concern about a potential rise of evictions in the coming months.
Affordable housing advocates are urging Governor Ralph Northam to issue an executive order banning evictions until at least late August. Governor Northam, however, has responded that an executive order would create more problems than it would solve. He continues to ask the Virginia Supreme Court to suspend evictions through early September.
The Valley Homeless Connection is seeking landlords who are willing to offer housing to people experiencing homelessness. The organization has two permanent housing programs that provide wraparound services, but there are not enough units that meet the funding criteria. There are currently 63 people residing temporarily in local motels during the pandemic who need permanent housing.
The Washington State Department of Commerce announced on August 3 that it is distributing approximately $100 million in CARES Act funding to community agencies that will operate rental assistance programs.
The Washington Post examines how the pandemic and the broken unemployment system are upending people’s lives in Washington, D.C.
An op-ed in Isthmus discusses the triple threat of COVID-19, eviction, and climate change. The authors argue that we must develop unique interventions to protect people experiencing homelessness and those living in substandard housing as hot summer temperatures occur across the country amid the pandemic.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
COVID-19 Response Promising Practices in Health Equity II [Video] - July 31
Department of Housing and Urban Development