The Hill reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is facing growing calls from members of both parties to bring the Senate back from its August recess to take up a coronavirus package and address the U.S. Postal Service crisis.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
HUD announced on August 19 that it has provided guidance and additional flexibility to states and localities using coronavirus relief funds. The Federal Register notice (FR-6226-N-01) published on August 17 grants extensions and clarifies submission deadlines for CDBG-DR grantees.
The NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition continue to advocate an 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 Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) released a white paper examining how community organizations can support equitable recovery and resilience efforts when responding to increasingly frequent and severe natural disasters. Among other policy recommendations, LISC proposes permanently authorizing the Community Development Block Grant–Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program, a policy recommendation supported by the DHRC.
The Washington Post reports that despite President Trump’s repeated claims that his administration and executive order would protect people from losing their homes, evictions have continued across the country. “It risks doing more harm than good by giving people a false impression that Trump is doing something to prevent evictions,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel about the president’s executive order.
Newsweek discusses housing advocates’ warnings that the expiration of the federal eviction moratorium will lead to a surge in COVID-19 cases, an increase in poverty, and future housing shortages. NLIHC’s Diane Yentel spoke to Newsweek about the president’s executive order and the need for robust emergency rental assistance.
U.S. News & World Report outlines what tenants can expect from President Trump’s August 8 executive order, highlighting advocates’ concerns that the order, which does not halt evictions, might give renters a false sense of security. NLIHC’s Diane Yentel discusses the urgent need for housing and homelessness resources and what renters can do to prevent eviction.
Administration officials told Politico that HUD will extend a ban on evictions and foreclosures for homes backed by the Federal Housing Administration through the end of the year. The move will cover far fewer homes than did the four-month eviction moratorium that expired on July 24. “The very limited number of covered properties with renters living in them are already covered under existing law, the ‘Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel.
“The stock market is still going up and up, right?” said Tusdae Barr in an interview with the Washington Post on being evicted during the pandemic. “Meanwhile, everybody I know is out of a job. Everybody is behind on the rent. Most of us are becoming homeless. I’m worth nothing on paper, so who’s going to rent to me?”
Federal coronavirus relief aid has kept many tenants housed, but the New York Times reports that as this support ebbs, tenants are forced to take increasingly desperate measures to pay rent, with potentially devastating long-term effects. Solely focusing on eviction rates can paint a misleadingly optimistic picture of the devastating situations millions of tenants are facing.
CNBC reports that evictions are expected to skyrocket as eviction protections come to an end. The federal ban on evictions expired last month, and many states that enacted eviction moratoriums have allowed them to expire.
A United Nations’ expert on housing rights warned of an impending eviction tsunami and urged governments around the world to ban all evictions until the pandemic ends. “Losing your home during the pandemic could mean losing your life,” said Balakrishnan Rajagopal, the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to housing. “The right to life and adequate housing are intrinsically linked.”
According to Shelterforce, homeless service providers report that the shift from congregate shelters to hotel rooms has had dramatic, positive impacts on their clients.
The Fulcrum reports that the looming eviction crisis could create significant barriers to voting in the November election. Like most forms of disenfranchisement, the mass eviction crisis is expected to impact minority communities the most.
The World Economic Forum examines eviction protections implemented around the world in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The article highlights research from NLIHC, Princeton University’s Eviction Lab, and the Aspen Institute.
The Washington Post reports that residential segregation plays a significant role in coronavirus disparities. According to a new study, counties with the highest percentage of white residents have had the lowest rates of coronavirus infections. Residential segregation, structural racism, and social determinants of health were noted as key factors driving higher rates of coronavirus diagnoses among communities of color.
HuffPost examines how the pandemic-triggered eviction crisis could compound voter suppression in November’s presidential election. People who have recently been evicted likely will face complicated hurdles in order to vote.
Voice of America reports on the millions of U.S. renters at risk of eviction by the end of the year. Housing advocates are calling on Congress to provide immediate relief and implement long-term policy initiatives to address the country’s affordable housing crisis.
An article in Beyond Chron examines how mass evictions could impact the presidential election this November by causing millions of displaced tenants to lose their voting rights.
Realtor.com outlines steps renters can take to fight an eviction during the coronavirus pandemic.
Vox shares the stories of three renters in vastly different situations who have been adversely impacted by their landlords’ actions.
State and Local News
A list of state and local emergency rental assistance programs is available here from NLIHC.
Just weeks after the federal eviction moratorium and supplemental unemployment insurance benefit expired, Montgomery shelters are again filling up with people who are now experiencing homeless.
The Anchorage Economic Development Corporation predicts the city is likely to lose more than 11,000 jobs this year, largely due to the financial impact of the coronavirus. This could lead to mass evictions and foreclosures.
Landlord groups have filed lawsuits to overturn Arizona’s eviction moratorium, arguing that the ban has created an “unsustainable” situation. According to tenant advocates, however, landlords have continued to evict tenants and can still collect money from evicted tenants. Since Arizona’s eviction moratorium only delays eviction enforcement and only under certain circumstances, hundreds of evictions in Pima and Maricopa County have occurred since Governor Doug Ducey’s order went into effect.
Mercury News reports that funding for Project Homekey falls far short of the overwhelming need. Cities, counties, and organizations in the Bay Area submitted 29 applications seeking $324 million from Project Homekey. California, however, has set aside just $100 million for the nine-county region, meaning that local projects will receive less than a third of what they need.
The Los Angeles Times reports that California lawmakers on August 20 declined to support a plan that would have provided tax credits for landlords while sending a separate proposal that would protect tenants back to Governor Gavin Newsom for additional negotiations. Senators moved forward Assembly Bill 1436, which would prohibit evictions for up to a year.
Approximately 30 lawyers and organizers gathered outside the state building in San Francisco to demand that the state Judicial Council extend Emergency Rule 1, which prevents evictions and is set to expire on September 1. The attorneys argued that reopening the courts is a public health risk and would put seniors and low-income people facing eviction disproportionately at risk of contracting the coronavirus.
Capital Public Radio reports on California’s looming eviction crisis as the statewide eviction moratorium is set to expire September 1. Assembly Bill 1436, which would ban evictions across California until 90 days after the current state of emergency is lifted, passed the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee on August 18. “If we don’t change state law in the next two weeks, we will see a massive wave of evictions,” said Assemblyman David Chiu at a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting. “This will be catastrophic for tenants, landlords, homeowners, and COVID-19 spread.”
BuzzFeed News reports that more than one million Californians have yet to receive unemployment benefits. California is poised to resume evictions on September 1, putting approximately 30,000 Californians who are unable to work or collect unemployment benefits at risk of eviction.
The Bakersfield City Council voted on August 12 to allocate $5 million in CARES Act funding to establish a rental assistance program. According to the Housing Authority of the County of Kern, the program is anticipated to help at least 1,000 households.
The application for the Los Angeles County COVID-19 Rent Relief Program opened Monday, August 17. The $100 million program is expected to assist 8,000-9,000 households.
The Escondido City Council unanimously voted to extend the city’s eviction moratorium through September 30. San Diego, Imperial Beach, and National City also have banned evictions through September 30.
Faith in the Valley released two reports that examine the patterns and impacts of evictions, which contribute to the larger housing insecurity crises, in Kern County and San Joaquin County. The reports highlight the pandemic’s impact on evictions and outline actions city, county, and state officials must take to protect vulnerable tenants.
The Colorado Springs Indy reports that without significant federal intervention, 25 to 36% of Colorado households are at risk of eviction. A U.S. Census Bureau survey found in mid-July that 14.8% of residents had no confidence in their ability to pay rent. Research indicates that Colorado’s COVID-19-related housing crisis is disproportionately impacting women and people of color.
Funding from the CARES Act has helped organizations move veterans experiencing homelessness in Colorado Springs to non-congregate settings. Rocky Mountain Human Services is providing funding for 317 veterans experiencing homelessness to temporarily live in motels across Colorado, with the goal to move the veterans into permanent housing.
Governor Ned Lamont on August 21 extended Connecticut’s eviction moratorium to October 1. Governor Lamont also announced that he is doubling funding for Connecticut’s COVID-19 rental assistance program. Just week’s into Connecticut’s COVID-19 rental assistance program, nearly 4,000 people have qualified for the program that was only supposed to serve 2,500 people.
Homeless shelters and service providers in Connecticut are bracing for a surge of evictions after federal unemployment benefits and the federal eviction moratorium expired at the end of July. Connecticut’s eviction moratorium is set to expire on August 25.
More than 800,000 renters in Florida are at risk of being evicted within weeks. Judges throughout Florida will interpret the various executive orders and eviction protection laws on a case-by-case basis, meaning there is no definite way to predict outcomes.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced on August 20 that the city has allocated $22 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to the Atlanta COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The program is expected to help more than 6,700 Atlanta residents with rental, utility, and/or security deposit assistance. Applications for the rental assistance program are now available at: https://relief.uwga.org/
Georgia Public Broadcasting “On Second Thought” host Virginia Prescott spoke with housing experts to examine the state’s looming eviction crisis and the long-term impact it could have on Georgia residents.
Three weeks after the federal eviction moratorium expired on July 24, Idaho has seen a spike in eviction hearings. During the week of August 17, Idaho had 53 eviction hearings scheduled—the most hearings scheduled since the state’s moratorium expired on May 1.
Governor Pritzker J.B. Pritzker will extend Illinois’ eviction moratorium for another 30 days after the current executive order ends on August 22.
Tenants’ rights groups gathered in Chicago to demand that Governor J.B. Pritzker extend the state’s eviction moratorium, which was set to expire on August 22. Organizers with the Lift the Ban Coalition set up an encampment outside of the Richard J. Daley Center to symbolize the looming eviction crisis. Over one million Illinois residents may face eviction in the coming months.
The application deadline to apply for the Illinois Emergency Rental Assistance Program has been extended through August 28. The Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program will open for applications on August 24.
Governor Eric Holcomb announced on August 19 that Indiana’s rental assistance program will stop accepting applications on August 26, despite receiving more than 30,000 applications since it opened five weeks ago—nearly three times the number of applications originally expected
Less than a week after Governor Eric Holcomb allowed Indiana’s eviction moratorium to expire on August 14, hundreds of Hoosiers have been served eviction notices. A survey of small claims court cases in Marion County found nearly 600 filings this week, and most of them are evictions. “Unfortunately, this is just what we expected to see,” said Andrew Bradley, policy director at Prosperity Indiana, an NLIHC state partner.
An estimated 600 eviction cases are pending in Allen County, Indiana, and 234 new cases have been filed since Governor Eric Holcomb allowed the eviction moratorium to expire. The Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition, an advocacy group that has urged Governor Holcomb to track eviction data as part of Indiana’s effort to combat the coronavirus, estimates up to 720,000 renters are in danger of losing their homes.
More than one hundred tenants across Greater Lafayette have received eviction notices in less than a week after Indiana’s moratorium was lifted. “We have added additional court time to process evictions,” said Tippecanoe Magistrate Judge Daniel Moore. “We are prepared to hear 100 to 200 evictions per week if necessary.”
Approximately 19,000 tenants are on a waiting list for Marion County’s Rental Assistance Program. A representative of Indiana Legal Services, a nonprofit law firm that helps low-income residents, is concerned about an impending flood of evictions after Governor Eric Holcomb allowed the state’s eviction moratorium to expire on August 14.
According to the LTHC Homeless Services in Lafayette, more than 300 people experiencing homelessness do not have adequate housing resources in the Lafayette area. The organization is bracing for an increase in homelessness since Indiana’s eviction moratorium expired August 14.
CNN Business shares the story of a renter in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, who has been waiting four weeks for the sheriff to evict her due to the long backlog of evictions. The county typically sees 15 to 18 evictions per month, but the sheriff’s office reports 63 evictions in July, and already 25 in August.
Governor Laura Kelly signed an executive order on August 17 reinstating an eviction and foreclosure moratorium until September 15. Governor Kelly stated that she would renew the moratorium in two weeks if the federal government does not intervene.
A letter to the editor in the Great Bend Tribune urges Congress and President Trump to resume negotiations and enact a comprehensive relief bill that includes $100 billion in emergency rental assistance, enacts a national eviction moratorium, and increases the maximum SNAP benefit by 15%.
The Lexington Herald Leader reports that hearings in Fayette County will resume on Monday, August 24. In Fayette County District Court, 157 eviction hearings are scheduled next week and an additional 143 hearings the following. This means 300 households could lose their homes by the first week of September.
First City Court Clerk Austin Badon is bracing for a surge of eviction filings in New Orleans starting August 25, when the 30-day notice ends since the CARES Act expired. “I’ve had one resident agent who already put us on notice that he’s bringing 250 evictions, so I’m going to extend hours,” said Badon.
As evictions resumed at the 36th District Court in Detroit on August 17, approximately 50 people gathered outside the courthouse to demand that city leaders extend the eviction moratorium. The 36th District Court estimates a backlog of about 900 cases and expects to hold hearings for 200 to 300 cases that were not already resolved.
More than half of Mississippi’s 352,000 renter households are at risk of eviction if Congress does not intervene. More than a third of all Mississippians missed last month’s housing payment or believed they would not be able to pay the next rent or mortgage on time, making Mississippi the third most vulnerable state in the nation for housing.
The Kansas City Star shares the story of a single mother of three who was evicted from her Kansas City rental home. According to the Kansas City Eviction Project, more than 1,600 eviction cases have been heard in Jackson County since the moratorium expired on May 31.
Voice of America profiles Kansas City renters at risk of eviction. According to Tara Raghuvee, director of the KC Tenants, nearly half of Missouri renters are at risk of eviction in the coming months.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports on the city’s looming eviction crisis. According to a report by the Guinn Center, a Las Vegas research group, and the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project, an estimated 249,700 people in Clark County – more than 10% of its population – are at risk of eviction starting in September.
FEMA approved Nevada’s request for a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) for the Loyalton Fire burning in Washoe County.
More than 100,000 New Mexico households have been unable to pay rent during the pandemic, and advocates estimate that 71,000 evictions will be filed in the next four months.
The Albuquerque City Council on August 17 approved using $300,000 of federal coronavirus relief funding for eviction prevention assistance programs. Some council members questioned whether the assistance would meet the need for assistance.
Although New York’s eviction moratorium was extended until October 1, advocates say that the state courts and legislature should go further by pausing all eviction proceedings, including those filed before the pandemic’s start. “No one should have to fight to save their home during a pandemic,” said the Housing Justice for All and Right to Counsel NYC Coalitions in a joint statement.
Curbed NY reports that 14,500 New Yorkers have pending eviction warrants and will be the first tenants evicted when the state’s eviction moratorium expires in October. Behind those tenants, there are 200,000 pending eviction cases in New York City alone that were filed before March 17 that can begin to progress through housing court.
A coalition of healthcare providers is urging Governor Andrew Cuomo and state policymakers to pass legislation to prevent mass evictions. “Preventing evictions and moving towards a system that ensures safe, secure housing for all is an essential part of our continued response to COVID-19,” the coalition wrote in a letter to Governor Cuomo and state legislative leaders. Over 500 healthcare professionals signed a letter to the state Department of Health, urging the department to support eviction prevention legislation and investigate the impact of evictions on public health.
An article in the Progressive Pulse argues that the coronavirus pandemic offers an opportunity for North Carolina to recognize housing as a human right and ensure that affordable housing is available to everyone.
A letter to the editor in the Grand Forks Herald discusses how the COVID-19 housing crisis will adversely impact children’s health. The author urges North Dakota’s congressional delegation to recognize the urgency of the housing crisis and support $100 billion in rental assistance, $11.5 billion in homelessness resources, and a national eviction moratorium.
The eviction case of a Cleveland single mother of two highlights the growing challenge among Americans to pay rent during the pandemic. Internal estimates from Cuyahoga County indicate that renters who have been unable to pay owe a combined $43 million per month since the pandemic started to spread in mid-March.
According to the Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, there could be 130,000 evictions in the state if Congress does not provide additional resources and protections.
More than 200,000 Oregonians had their unemployment benefits cut by at least half when the federal unemployment boost expired at the end of July, leaving tens of thousands of residents concerned about how they will pay rent, utilities, and weekly expenses.
The Oregon Bankers Association filed a lawsuit to overturn a recent state law that protects homeowners from foreclosure and other penalties if they are unable to pay their mortgages during the pandemic.
South Dakota’s 211 Helpline Center has fielded more than 7,000 calls so far this year from people requesting rent or mortgage assistance. This is more than twice the number of rental assistance requests that the organization received during all of 2019.
The Courier reports on the millions of renters at risk of eviction in the coming months, including a 61-year-old Dallas resident with a disability who is facing eviction. According to Stout research, without federal intervention, nearly half of renters in Texas are at risk of eviction by the end of the year.
Harris County initially approved $15 million for its rent relief program but has since increased the amount of aid to $25 million due to the overwhelming need for assistance. The City of Houston and Harris County rent relief programs are being combined into one portal to streamline the application process. Landlord enrollment began on August 17, and tenant applications will open for a 7-day period beginning August 24.
According to numerous reports, nearly 40% of Houstonians could not pay their rent or mortgage by July 30.
King County launched a $41.4 million rental assistance and eviction prevention program in partnership with community organizations. The county is accepting interest forms from tenants, small landlords, large property landlords and managers, manufactured home park owners and managers, and local nonprofits who wish to participate in the program.
DCist reviews the current state of eviction protections in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, as well as any public funds available to struggling renters.
Wisconsin organizations are bracing for a rise in evictions and homelessness in the coming months. According to the Wisconsin Coalition Against Homelessness, eviction filings were above average in Milwaukee County since Governor Tony Evers allowed the statewide eviction moratorium to expire on May 26.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
CDBG-DR COVID-19 Notice FAQs - August 18