Additional Coronavirus Updates - Monday, August 17, 2020

National Updates


Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, on August 10 released a one-pager addressing President Trump's executive order on housing.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-NY) discussed the urgent need for $100 billion in emergency rental assistance during a press conference on August 14.

In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) discusses the accelerating housing crisis occurring nationwide. She outlines actions that Congress must take to prevent the looming eviction crisis and stop predatory companies from further destabilizing the housing market.

Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) on August 8 became the first Republican to criticize the president’s executive actions on coronavirus relief, calling them “unconstitutional slop.”


HUD announced on August 10 that it awarded $472 million in CARES Act funding to public housing authorities to keep residents housed during the pandemic.


FEMA announced on August 11 approval of over $84 million in additional grants for repairs after Hurricane Maria. The funds will support 105 projects related to the recovery and reconstruction of Puerto Rico.


The NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition continues to advocate 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.

NLIHC joined Community Catalyst, the Food Research & Action Center, and the Service Employees International Union in a joint letter to congressional leadership urging Congress and the president to pass a coronavirus relief package that mitigates the devastation that millions of families, particularly Black and brown families, face due the dual health and economic impacts of COVID-19.


In an interview on MSNBC, NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel stated, “If there is not a significant and sustained federal intervention, there will be a tremendous increase in evictions across our country. We estimate that anywhere between 30 and 40 million renters are at risk of losing their homes before the end of the year if Congress does not act.” Watch the full interview: 

“Evictions risk lives. They drive families deeper into poverty. They risk further burdening our already overstretched hospital systems,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel in a CNN video on COVID-19 and the looming eviction crisis. “They make it more difficult than ever for us to truly contain the pandemic as a country.”

Politico reports on the shortcomings of President Trump’s executive order extending the eviction moratorium. “Layering a patchwork of state and local eviction moratoriums on top of the limited federal moratorium gave some level of protection to most renters, but these protections are expiring rapidly,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel. “Today, renters in 30 states – including many with surging coronavirus cases – lack any federal or statewide protections against eviction.”

NPR Morning Edition reports on how Trump's executive order on housing neither bans evictions outright nor provides rental assistance – actions that need to be approved by Congress. Housing advocates say it will do little to stop the imminent tidal wave of evictions. “There's tremendous urgency,” adds NLIHC’s Diane Yentel. “There are millions of renters who can't sleep at night because they don't know what they're going to do if they become homeless.”

The Guardian reports on the wave of evictions that is sweeping across the United States after federal protections expired at the end of July. The article discusses housing advocates’ critiques of President Trump’s executive order and concerns about the looming eviction crisis and rise in homelessness.

NBC News reports that landlords could exploit tenants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to fast-track evictions, upgrade newly vacant units, and offer them at a premium price.

ABC News shares the stories of families struggling to stay afloat without federal relief aid. As lawmakers are still locked in a stalemate over a coronavirus relief package, the U.S. faces the most severe housing crisis it has seen in decades.

Marketplace examines how missed rental payments could impact the affordable housing supply. Research indicates that tenants in Class C properties, which tend to be older and serve low- to moderate-income tenants, are struggling to pay the rent at much higher rates than tenants in higher-end properties.

Vice reports on the potential for Great Depression levels of homelessness by year's end. “Without a significant and sustained federal intervention, America will experience an increase in homelessness the likes of which we haven’t seen since the Great Depression,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel.

Bloomberg CityLab reports that President Trump’s executive order does not require any concrete action to prevent a coronavirus housing crisis. “The President alluded to ‘stopping evictions,’ but the executive order fails to provide any meaningful relief to the millions of renters who are at risk of losing their homes,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel in her statement about the executive order.

Shelterforce republished NLIHC’s Diane Yentel’s statement on President Trump’s executive order.

CNBC explains that President Trump’s executive order does not extend the eviction moratorium or offer immediate assistance to help prevent evictions. The article cites NLIHC’s Diane Yentel’s statement on the executive order.

The New York Times reports how President Trump’s attempts to circumvent Congress to provide coronavirus relief has resulted in confusion and uncertainty. A New York Times opinion piece explores the impact of the affordable housing crisis on the millions of families who will lose their apartments.

The New York Times reports how President Trump’s attempts to circumvent Congress to provide coronavirus relief has resulted in confusion and uncertainty.

Politico reports on housing advocates’ concerns that President Trump’s executive order may be worse than inaction by reducing the urgency to reach a deal with Congress and giving renters a false sense of security. The article cites NLIHC’s Diane Yentel’s statement on the executive order and Representative Maxine Waters’ (D-CA) comments during NLIHC’s national call on August 10.

CNN discusses a report released by NLIHC and nine other institutions and organizations. The report found that without significant federal intervention, 30-40 million people in the U.S. are at risk of eviction by the end of the year.

Newsweek reports on how the President’s new eviction executive order may not help the up to 40 million people in the United States at risk of eviction in the next few months. The risk is highest in California, where more than 4 million people face losing their homes, followed by New York, Texas, Florida, Ohio and Illinois. The article cites NLIHC’s statement on President Trump’s eviction order.

Politico reports that federal housing aid during the pandemic disproportionately benefits white households over minorities, with Black households most at risk of eviction.

The Guardian explains why President Trump’s executive order will do little to help  homeowners and renters, citing NLIHC’s statement on why the order is an “empty shell of promise.”

Bloomberg examines how the coronavirus pandemic has exposed disparities in America’s rental housing that will likely grow wider. While landlords of more expensive apartments have collected most of their rent payments during the pandemic, owners of older, more affordable units have not, threatening our country’s affordable housing supply.

Fast Company reports that while President Trump claimed that he would protect people from evictions, his executive order fails to protect renters. The order does not even extend the limited federal eviction moratorium included in the CARES Act.

A report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) found that the COVID-19 pandemic is leading to more precarious housing situations, particularly for Black and Hispanic renters. Learn about the main findings of the forthcoming CEPR report here.

State and Local News

A list of state and local emergency rental assistance programs is available here from NLIHC.

AlabamaAlabama is seeing an increase in eviction cases as Congress stalls on decisions to extend weekly unemployment benefits and state and federal moratoriums on evictions expire. Legal Services of Alabama (LSA), which provides legal aid to low-income families, told Alabama Daily News that the month of June saw a 70% increase in eviction cases compared to June of 2019.

Arizona  Arizona has set aside $5 million for its landlord assistance program. This is in addition to $5 million the state set aside in March, and millions more that local governments have begun distributing, to help tenants pay rent.


More than 275 evictions were filed in Arkansas in July and 233 evictions in June. Only 40 tenants filed answers to the civil evictions filed in July. Arkansas’ Unlawful Detainer eviction law requires tenants to pay the court one month’s rent before a hearing is allowed, making it difficult for tenants to obtain a hearing. Only one Circuit Court Judge, Chip Welch, announced that, because of the pandemic, he will not issue a writ of possession unless there is a hearing first.


The Los Angeles Times reports on the 1.6 million farmworkers in California without legal status, many of whom are at risk of homelessness and have the least access to assistance. Many migrant farmworkers across California may be uncertain of their rights and hesitant to fight illegal evictions.

The Judicial Council of California voted 19-1 on August 13 to end the statewide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures on September 1. “The judicial branch cannot usurp the responsibility of the other two branches on a long-term basis to deal with the myriad impacts of the pandemic,” Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye said in a statement.

The LA County COVID-19 Rent Relief program will begin accepting applications on August 17. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved $100 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to assist renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The California Department of Housing and Community Development recently released frequently asked questions for the Project Homekey Notice of Funding Availability.

A report by Working Partnerships USA and the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley found that an estimated 43,490 renter households in Santa Clara County are at high risk of eviction, threatening to increase the county’s homeless population by as much as 225%. The impending eviction crisis is “hardly inevitable,” reports Palo Alto Online.

More than 1,600 California households have been evicted since Governor Gavin Newsom declared a statewide state of emergency on March 4, according to data that CalMatters obtained. Nearly a third of those evictions occurred after Governor Newsom’s March 19 shelter-in-place order, and more than 400 took place since Newsom issued an eviction moratorium on March 27.

California is rapidly approaching what has been dubbed the “eviction cliff,” or the point where true protection from being evicted during the pandemic will fall away, at least for a short time. If that happens, as many as 1 million families across the state — some 365,000 in Los Angeles County alone — could find themselves being forced out of their homes as soon as September.


Between 436,000 and 596,000 people in Colorado — 25%-36% of renters in the state — could be at risk of eviction by the end of the year, according to a new analysis. Governor Jared Polis extended his emergency executive order on evictions on August 11, requiring landlords to provide tenants 30 days’ notice before pursuing evictions, instead of the typical 10 days. The measure, however, does not ban evictions.

When briefing the Denver City Council, the head of Denver’s housing department reported that the city needs more shelter beds to support people experiencing homelessness in the coming months and years. Homelessness was increasing in Denver before the pandemic, but COVID-19 has added to the number of people on the streets while also forcing shelters to decrease their capacity.


An op-ed in the CT Mirror by Susan Thomas, president of the Melville Charitable Trust, outlines why housing is healthcare and discusses the urgent need for federal housing and homelessness resources. The author discusses the Reaching Home Campaign – a partnership between the Connecticut Department of Housing and local, state, and federal partners to house 1,000 people experiencing homelessness by the end of September.

An article in the CT Mirror discusses Connecticut’s looming housing crisis and the overwhelming need for rental assistance. About 1,100 people call each day seeking aid from Connecticut’s coronavirus housing assistance program. Only about 170 of the callers qualify for help under the program’s narrow eligibility parameters.


Governor John Carney and the Delaware State Housing Authority announced the reopening of the Delaware Housing Assistance Program, which provides financial assistance for renters, and announced that emergency mortgage assistance is now available for homeowners who have missed payments. Delaware and New Castle County will contribute a combined $40 million in CARES Act funding to the rental and mortgage assistance programs.


In Duval County, 219 evictions were filed in court during the first week of August. On August 3, nearly 100 cases were filed, marking the start of the first full business week since Governor Ron DeSantis’ new limited eviction order was enacted. Governor DeSantis’ new order only stops final actions in eviction proceedings and requires tenants to prove that non-payment of rent is due to losses from the pandemic.

Governor Ron DeSantis' extension on the state's eviction moratorium protects families who have been "adversely affected by the COVID-19 emergency" from losing their homes. However, this has not stopped landlords from posting the eviction notices on tenants' doors.


More than 10,000 evictions have been on hold in metro Atlanta during the pandemic, but courts in DeKalb, Gwinnett, Fulton, and Cobb counties have either recently resumed landlord-tenant hearings or will resume hearings in the coming days. Fulton, usually considered Georgia’s busiest eviction court, has a backlog of over 9,000 cases and will hold virtual hearings, rather than in-person hearings, until at least November.


A letter to the editor in the Star Advertiser urges that no resident should be unsheltered in Hawaii.


Hundreds of thousands of renters in the Idaho region are vulnerable to eviction.


The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) is launching an emergency rental assistance program to help people who have been impacted by the pandemic. The state has set aside $150 million in CARES Act funding for rent relief, which is expected to assist about 30,000 renters. The executive director of IHDA said that the agency anticipates receiving far more applications than the state can assist.

In June, Illinois ranked third in the nation for rent deferrals. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s July 16-21 survey, 24% of Illinois renters deferred or did not pay rent for July. The state’s eviction moratorium is set to expire on August 22, meaning landlords can move forward with evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent.

Cook County launched rental assistance program to help residents behind on rent. Cook County will provide households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with up to $4,500 each. The $20 million program is expected to provide financial relief of up to three months of rent — or up to $4,500 — to as many as 7,000 suburban households. Illinois renters who have been unable to pay their rent due to coronavirus-related financial difficulty can apply for one-time grants of $5,000 through a new state program, and relief for homeowners is next. The state will give $300 million in rent and mortgage grants this fall to people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, offering one-time grants of $5,000 for tenants and $15,000 for homeowners. The programs, administered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, are funded through federal money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed earlier this year.


With Indiana’s eviction moratorium ending on August 14, the Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition is calling on Governor Eric Holcomb to include a ‘COVID-19 Housing Stability Dashboard’ on the state’s coronavirus response website to track eviction and rental assistance data. The coalition is also urging the Indiana Supreme Court to strengthen protections for tenants by uniformly enacting recommendations of the Court’s Landlord-Tenant Task Force.

During a briefing on August 12, Governor Eric Holcomb did not announce plans to extend the statewide moratorium set to expire August 14. “We are expecting to see multiple waves of evictions starting when this eviction moratorium is lifted and extending...event into next year,” said Andrew Bradley, policy director of Prosperity Indiana.

Governor Eric Holcomb announced on August 5 that he intends to allow Indiana’s moratoriums on evictions and utility shutoffs, including internet access, to expire on August 14. He announced that the state is adding $15 million to the $25 million rental assistance program.

The Indianapolis City-County Council added $7.5 million to its rental assistance program. The program was initially set at $15 million, but it was forced to shut down after three days due to high demand.

Indiana state leaders are working to determine how President Trump’s executive orders will impact low-income renters at risk of eviction. “President Donald Trump’s orders do not protect Hoosiers from evictions,” said Andrew Bradley of Prosperity Indiana. “Unless there is a moratorium put in place or real emergency rental assistance provided from Congress, somewhere between 569,000 to 720,000 Hoosiers could end up being evicted.”

Iowa  The Iowa Finance Authority reports more people could now be eligible to receive assistance through their COVID-19 Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention program.


The Washington Post reports that workers, businesses, and advocates in Kentucky are furious with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for blocking much-needed federal coronavirus relief aid. Approximately 200,000 Kentucky households are at risk of eviction in the next four months, but Senator McConnell has ignored housing advocates’ pleas to provide critical housing protections and provisions.

An eviction diversion pilot program in Jefferson County is expected to start on August 24. The program will focus on evictions for nonpayment and connect renters and landlords with rental assistance resources.

WFPL reports on Kentucky’s looming eviction crisis. According to the national research firm Stout, 42% of renter households in Kentucky are at risk of eviction in the coming months. Adrienne Bush, executive director of the Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky, an NLIHC state partner, spoke about the urgent need for rental assistance.


Housing advocacy organizations, including the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition, an NLIHC state partner, warn of a devastating tidal wave of evictions in the near future if Congress does not provide critical housing protections and resources for Mainers.

Massachusetts  More than 654,000 Massachusetts residents either missed their July rent or mortgage payment, or feared they would not be able to pay August, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In Massachusetts alone, without continued federal help, homeowners and renters could fall short in their housing payments by $135 million a month, based on data from Boston’s Metropolitan Area Planning Council.

Missouri An order from the 22nd Missouri Judicial Court declared that evictions in St. Louis are suspended until September 1, 2020. The city is referring around 3,000 applicants from residents to an agency to help people work through the documentation needed to receive federal assistance. 


Housing assistance programs in Southern Nevada are scrambling to meet increased demand for aid as the expiration of the state’s eviction moratorium, scheduled for September 1, rapidly approaches.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire housing advocates are concerned that tenants who have applied to the state’s rental assistance program could be evicted before they receive aid. While the New Hampshire Housing Relief Program has received 4,701 inquiries and sent out 4,503 applications, only 1,385 completed applications have been submitted and only 139 applications have been approved.

New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy announced on August 7 creation of the Small Landlord Emergency Grant Program. The $25 million program, funded through the CARES Act and administered by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, will provide emergency grant funding to small property owners for COVID-19 related decreases in rent revenue for a four-month period between April and July 2020.

New Jersey’s new grant program is expected to help small residential property owners who are often the most vulnerable in an economic crisis. There have been more than 15,000 evictions filed during the pandemic, and advocates expect that this number will grow in the coming months.

New Mexico

Fifty-two municipalities and 30 counties in New Mexico submitted applications to the state for a share of $150 million in federal coronavirus relief funding. The City of Sante Fe requested $25.1 million, and Sante Fe County requested about $15 million, including $4 million in rental and housing assistance.

New York

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that households with children have been more likely to suffer COVID-19 job and income losses, contributing to higher rates of missed rent and debt payments, food insufficiency, and a greater need to dig into savings.

One week after a temporary eviction ban expired in New York, the state court system extended an eviction moratorium through October 1. The new order mandates that no existing or new eviction warrants can be executed until October and continues the suspension of proceedings in new eviction cases brought by landlords after March 17.


A coalition of 182 businesses, hospitals, and advocacy groups have asked Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to invest $100 million of federal Coronavirus Relief Funds in emergency rental assistance, and an op-ed in the Akron Beacon Journal urges Governor DeWine to heed their advice.

State Senators Nickie Antonio and Hearcel Craig recently sent a letter to Governor Mike DeWine asking for action after the federal moratorium on evictions and foreclosures expired on July 24.


Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, with Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici, joined more than 80 Oregonians in a virtual event on August 11 calling for the Senate to take action on a fourth coronavirus relief package.


According to U.S. Census Bureau data, about 17% of Pennsylvania renters missed their payment in June, and a quarter had little or no confidence that they could pay rent in July. An op-ed in the Post-Gazette discusses the connection between the current COVID-19 housing crisis and systemic housing issues. The authors urge Congress to fund local housing work adequately and consistently, even after the immediate COVID-19 crisis has subsided.

A letter to the editor in the Sentinel outlines the urgent need for $100 billion in rental assistance and a nationwide eviction moratorium.

Puerto Rico

An op-ed in the Miami Herald discusses the significant challenges facing Puerto Rico’s disaster survivors as they struggle to recover – without long-overdue assistance – from Tropical Storm Isaias, the COVID-19 pandemic, Hurricane Maria, and the devastating earthquakes. The op-ed outlines policy solutions to ensure that Puerto Rico’s disaster survivors receive the critical federal assistance that they need to recover.

South Carolina

According to the magistrate courts in Tri-County, hundreds of evictions have been filed since South Carolina’s eviction moratorium was lifted May 14. Organizations have seen a sharp increase in the number of requests for rent, mortgage, and utility payment assistance.

NBC examines South Carolina’s looming eviction crisis as a result of the pandemic. Before COVID-19, South Carolina faced a long-term housing crisis and had the highest eviction rate in the country. According to Stout research, 52% of renter households in South Carolina are at risk of eviction, and NLIHC research indicates that the state’s rental assistance needs will grow to nearly $835 million.

The Sun News spoke with three Horry County residents facing housing insecurity amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Texas  The Houston Chronicle editorial board urges Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to reconsider his opposition to an eviction grace period ordinance. The ordinance, supported by the city-county Housing Stability Task Force, would provide tenants additional time to pay their rent. Similar ordinances have been adopted in other large Texas City, but Mayor Turner has stated that a grace period would merely delay and deepen renters’ financial obligation.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton advised on August 7 that local Texas governments' attempts to delay evictions for renters grappling with the COVID-19 recession amounted to rewriting state law — something they cannot do, he said in nonbinding legal guidance. Advocates are concerned. “A lot of tenants are facing eviction in Texas by zero fault of their own and putting protections that are normal in almost every other state should be allowed in this pandemic,” said Sandy Rollins, executive director of the housing advocacy group Texas Tenants Union.


Governor Ralph Northam announced on August 7 that the Virginia Supreme Court granted his request to extend the state’s eviction moratorium through September 7. Four of the court’s seven justices agreed to extend the moratorium.

Housing and homelessness organizations in Virginia are struggling to provide shelter for people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic. Although the Virginia Supreme Court reinstated the lapsed eviction ban on August 7, over 15,000 eviction hearings were heard in court, and more than 3,000 families were evicted across Virginia in July.


A letter to the editor in the Spokesman-Review urges people to contact their Senators and demand that they pass the critical provisions in the House-passed HEROES Act. The author also asks Representative McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) to encourage Senate Republicans to enact the rent relief, eviction moratorium, unemployment assistance, and other relief funds that were included in the HEROES Act.

Washington, D.C.

The Washington Post reports that although Washington D.C. spends $2 million per month to rent hundreds of hotel rooms to reduce the spread of coronavirus among people experiencing homelessness, city data show that on no night have all of the rooms been filled. The city has left many of the rented hotel rooms – up to 70% on some nights – vacant, while failing to recruit other individuals vulnerable to the coronavirus, such as people living in overcrowded housing situations. Although the coronavirus has devastated dense, heavily Latino D.C. neighborhoods, where many residents live in overcrowded housing and are unable to telework, fewer than 5% of the rented hotel rooms have gone to Latinos.


With rental assistance money going fast, courtrooms reopening and moratoriums lifting, Wisconsin tenant advocates and local and state officials fear a coming surge of evictions as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the economy.

An article in the Milwaukee Independent examines how the U.S. court system, which heavily favors landlords and offers few tenant protections, will exacerbate the COVID-19 housing crisis.


Department of Agriculture

Actions Taken by USDA Rural Development to Help Rural Residents, Businesses, and Communities Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic - Updated August 5

Department of Housing and Urban Development

FR-6226-N-01: Notice of Waivers, Alternative Requirements and Extensions for CDBG Disaster Recovery Grantees - August 11, 2020

FR 6218-N-01 Notice of Program Rules, Waivers, and Alternative Requirements Under the CARES Act for CDBG Program Coronavirus Response Grants, FY19 & 20 CDBGs, and for Other Formula Programs - August 7, 2020

Eviction Prevention for At Risk Tenants: A Message to HUD Program Grantees -August 2020

COVID-19 Homeless System Response: Advancing Racial Equity through Assessments and Prioritization - August 11

COVID-19 Homeless System Response: Strategies for Eviction Prevention - August 11

COVID-19 Homeless System Response: Case Management Ratios - August 11

COVID-19 Homeless System Response: Justice Partnerships and Reentry Solutions - August 11

COVID-19 Homeless System Response: Targeted Rehousing Strategy Overview - August 11

COVID-19 Homeless System Response: High Acuity - Transition from Short-term to Long-term Subsidy - August 11

Department of Treasury

Coronavirus Relief Fund Frequently Asked Questions - Updated August 10


FEMA Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance Fact Sheet - August 13

Internal Revenue Service

Economic Impact Payments and Coronavirus Tax Relief: A Toolkit for Partners - May 13

Economic Impact Payments: Toolkit for Non-Filer Outreach - July 10

State and Local Guidance

California Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency: Guide to Strategic Uses of Key State and Federal Funds to Reduce Homelessness During the COVID-19 Pandemic