Representatives Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) and Jesús “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL), along with 41 of their colleagues sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to include $100 billion for emergency rental assistance in the next coronavirus relief package.
Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) on July 23 introduced the “We Need Eviction Data Now Act of 2020” (H.R. 7743), which would create a national database to standardize data and track evictions. “Our nation is on the cusp of a tsunami of evictions and homelessness unless Congress acts to provide emergency rental assistance and other protections” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “This impending eviction crisis underscores the critical need for the ‘We Need Eviction Data Now Act.'”
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, released a statement on the Senate Republicans’ HEALS Act: “I remain focused on the emergency need to provide housing relief...Any legislative compromise with the Senate on coronavirus legislation must make housing relief a priority and must not include giveaways to Wall Street.”
FEMA announced on July 26 that federal disaster assistance has been made available to Texas to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by Hurricane Hanna. The agency had announced on July 25 that assistance has been made available to Hawaii in the areas affected by Hurricane Douglas.
The NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition continues to advocate 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 Opportunity Starts at Home campaign released a statement on Senate Republicans’ proposed relief package.
NLIHC Vice President of Public Policy Sarah Saadian joined Shamus Roller, executive director of the National Housing Law Project, and Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) for a Facebook Live discussion on what actions are needed to prevent a wave of evictions.
The Terner Center partnered with the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals to conduct a survey of its membership, which disproportionately owns or manages small, often more affordable rental properties. The survey findings highlight the impact of the pandemic on small landlords. The majority of respondents, more than 80% of who own or manage buildings with fewer than 20 units, reported a decrease in rental income compared to the first quarter of the year. One in four landlords have borrowed funds to make ends meet, and almost 40% lack confidence in their ability to make ends meet over the next 90 days.
The Center for American Progress released a report examining how the premature lifting of pandemic restrictions strains emergency housing and homelessness efforts and will exacerbate evictions, foreclosures, and the country’s decades-old housing and homelessness crises.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a report on the severe consequences the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic fallout are having on those with the fewest resources. Policymakers must include comprehensive housing assistance in the next relief package, prioritizing aid for people with the most severe housing needs.
Politico reports on how cities across the country are bracing for a surge of evictions as the federal eviction moratorium expired on July 24 at midnight. “If the federal ban is not extended,” said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel, “if the state and local eviction moratoriums that are scheduled to expire in the coming weeks do, and if no emergency rental assistance is provided, then from the end of August through fall, millions of Americans will be evicted from their homes.”
Marketplace examines harmful long-term outcomes of eviction filings. “There’s this spiraling down into poverty that can happen from just one eviction filing,” said Diane Yentel.
Diane Yentel spoke with CBS News about the expected wave of evictions in the coming months. About 13 million people could face eviction as a result of the expiration of the federal eviction moratorium.
CNBC reports on the Senate Republican proposal for the next relief package, noting that it does not include an extension of the federal eviction moratorium or adequate housing relief. The article cited Diane Yentel’s statement about the proposal: “This funding is a drop in an ocean of need among unsubsidized renters and people experiencing homelessness.”
HuffPost calls attention to the millions of people in America who will be unable to pay rent this Saturday, August 1. If Congress does not intervene, millions of Americans will be evicted in the coming months. “The looming eviction crisis is both completely predictable and entirely preventable,” said Diane Yentel.
“We’re going to work on the eviction, so that people don’t get evicted...We ought to stop evictions because that expires very soon,” said President Trump, according to Jeff Stein of the Washington Post. The federal eviction moratorium expired last Friday, July 24. Then, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on July 26 unexpectedly told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the Trump administration will extend the federal eviction moratorium that expired on July 24. Time also reported on Kudlow’s announcement that the administration would extend the moratorium.
CNBC posted an article outlining what people can do if they are facing eviction now that the federal eviction moratorium has expired.
The Washington Post reports that President Trump called for an extension of the eviction moratorium, despite the Senate Republicans excluding it from their proposal.
Reuters reports that U.S. renters owe $21.5 billion in back rent. Making matters worse, the federal eviction moratorium expired on July 24, and the supplemental unemployment benefits expire on July 31. Senate Republicans proposed a plan on July 27 that did not mention housing, evictions, or reinstating the eviction moratorium.
CNBC reports that 40 million Americans may be evicted as a result of the pandemic - four times the amount seen during the Great Recession. Despite record high unemployment levels and growing coronavirus cases, the federal eviction moratorium expired and statewide eviction moratoriums in more than 30 states have lifted.
The New York Times editorial board writes about Senate Republicans’ failure to intervene and protect millions of Americans from losing critical federal aid. Almost 40 million people in America expect not to be able to pay their next rent or mortgage payment, and nearly 30 million people reported that they did not have enough to eat during the week ending July 21.
An article in the Conversation examines why our country’s landlord-leaning eviction court process will exacerbate the impending COVID-19 eviction crisis.
An opinion piece in the Washington Post examines the adverse impacts that eviction has on children’s educational outcomes, cognitive development, and health. The author makes the case that if we are concerned about keeping students safe and educational equity, we must prioritize eviction prevention.
CNBC examines how the impending eviction crisis will harm some states more than others and highlighted that Black and Latino tenants are especially at risk of eviction.
The coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating inequities across the country, especially in housing. According to the Washington Post, the affluent are taking advantage of the least expensive mortgage rates in history to buy bigger homes, while renters are facing significant job losses and growing threats of eviction.
Forbes reports that after the federal eviction moratorium expired on July 24, mass evictions are set to begin, and communities of color will be most impacted. Senate Republicans are expected to unveil their proposal for the next COVID-19 relief package, and if eviction and housing protections are not included, a surge of evictions and rise in homelessness will shatter communities across the country.
An op-ed in the Hill makes a case for why the Senate and the president must immediately enact the rental assistance and nationwide eviction moratorium included in the House-passed HEROES Act.
24/7 Wall St. used U.S. Census Survey data to track which areas in the country are most struggling to pay rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic. The analysis found that in some parts of the country, less than 15% of adults are missing, or will likely soon miss, a rent or mortgage payment. In other parts of the country, more than one-third of adults cannot afford their housing payments.
USA Today discusses 24/7 Wall St.’s report on which states have the largest share of the population struggling to pay rent or mortgage, and highlighted the finding that many of the states where the largest portions of adults cannot afford to make housing payments are also some of the poorest states.
CBS News reports on the millions of Americans that are facing homelessness after the federal eviction moratorium expired on July 24 at midnight.
State and Local News
A list of state and local emergency rental assistance programs is available here from NLIHC.
After Governor Kay Ivey allowed the statewide eviction moratorium to expire on June 1, up to 48% of Alabama renters are in danger of losing their homes due to the pandemic’s economic fallout.
Alabama Arise released a statement on the Senate Republicans’ proposal for the next COVID-19 relief package. The statement outlines why the plan falls short of meeting the needs of low-income renters and urges Congress to include emergency rent and mortgage assistance in the next package.
Researchers with the University of Arizona are urging the state to prepare for a sharp rise in homelessness. If unemployment continues to rise in Arizona, the state will have to take drastic steps to prevent a massive rise in homelessness. The report estimates that if unemployment rises to 25%, homelessness will increase by 42%.
Despite state and federal eviction protections, some California tenants have faced increasingly aggressive eviction tactics over the last month. The state’s judiciary council announced that it is considering rescinding its eviction ban. Advocates continue to urge officials to intervene to prevent hundreds of thousands of California renters from being evicted.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed extended the city’s eviction moratorium through August 31.
In an attempt to close a $1.5 billion deficit, San Francisco Mayor London Breed is expected to present a two-year city budget. Budgets for the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing and the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development are expected to decrease by 10-15%. A group of San Francisco homeless service providers asked Mayor Breed on July 27 for more than $42.5 million to fund housing subsidies, a job training program, and other programs for people experiencing homelessness.
As its eviction moratorium end, San Diego County faces a looming eviction crisis. The Legal Aid Society of San Diego warns that the $15.1 million in CARES Act funds that the San Diego City Council allocated to emergency rental assistance in June is insufficient to meet the needs of San Diego’s renters.
Approximately 365,000 Los Angeles households could be at risk of eviction if California’s eviction moratorium expires next month. California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye announced on July 24 that the Council will soon consider rescinding the current tenant protections put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decree could expire as soon as August 14.
Governor Jared Polis allowed Colorado’s temporary eviction ban to expire. Since July 1, the Denver Sheriff Department has received 139 eviction orders from the court, and about 65 of those have been carried out so far.
Colorado State Patrol troopers, Denver police, and other city workers swept a large encampment out of Lincoln Park on July 29. The sweep occurred less than a week after the city permitted the Colorado State Patrol to enforce several ordinances, including the urban camping ban, on state property in Denver. The encampment in Lincoln Park is one of several around Denver that have grown during the pandemic, and an estimated 1,350 people are now camping out in the city.
The Denver Post spoke with Colorado tenants facing eviction as federal unemployment benefits ended, unemployment is at near-record levels, and Governor Jared Polis let the state eviction moratorium lapse.
Connecticut housing advocates say that $10 million allocated for a temporary rental assistance program is insufficient to meet the overwhelming need. The Connecticut Fair Housing Center estimates that the state will need between $100-150 million to assist everyone facing eviction and homelessness.
Governor Ron DeSantis on July 29 extended the statewide eviction moratorium through September 1.
The Sun Sentinel reports that 749,000 million Florida households could be at risk of eviction over the next four months. The state’s eviction laws significantly favor landlords, meaning that tenants who attempt to fight their evictions face an uphill battle.
Advocates are preparing for a potential tsunami of evictions in the coming weeks if Governor Ron DeSantis allows Florida’s eviction moratorium to expire on August 1.
Governor David Ige vetoed a spending plan that would have added $100 in state weekly unemployment benefits and a $100 million spending plan for housing and rental assistance, arguing that $50 million is enough to launch a rent relief program by the end of the year.
A letter to the editor in the Idaho Statesman urges Senators James Risch (R-ID) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) to support $100 billion in emergency rental assistance and a national eviction moratorium in the next coronavirus relief package.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on July 27 announced an expanded Housing Assistance Grant program and a new online portal to help people adversely impacted by the pandemic’s economic fallout. The new round of aid includes more than $33 million in rental assistance and eviction counseling. Of the total amount, $20 million will be from the state’s allocation of the Coronavirus Relief Fund.
Connections for the Homeless has placed more than 200 individuals experiencing homelessness, including about 50 children, in an Evanston hotel during the pandemic. The organization has added a 27-person Coronavirus Response Team to provide critical services, such as moving people temporarily residing in the hotel into permanent housing. Connections for the Homeless has helped move 30 people into permanent housing since March.
Governor Eric Holcomb on July 29 extended the eviction and foreclosure moratorium until August 14. The moratorium had been set to expire on July 31.
Indiana has received over 20,000 applications for the state’s CARES Act Rental Assistance Program, maxing out the current capacity. Indiana has allocated $25 million in CARES Act funding, which is expected to assist approximately 12,000 households.
Indianapolis’ rental assistance program has distributed $3.5 million so far. The program launched on July 13 and suspended applications one week later after receiving more than 10,000 requests. The program and its partners are processing between 400 and 500 completed applications per day.
A group of Indiana landlords filed a lawsuit against Governor Eric Holcomb regarding the state’s eviction ban, which is set to expire at the end of July. Prosperity Indiana, an NLIHC state partner, says that if Governor Holcomb does not extend the moratorium, the state would undo the progress it has made to provide a measure of housing stability to over 258,000 Hoosiers impacted by the pandemic.
Indianapolis advocates are concerned about a rise in homelessness as a result of the pandemic and are calling on city leaders to provide shelter and services to people experiencing homelessness. On July 27, the City of Indianapolis announced a plan to provide housing and health services to residents experiencing homelessness.
The Des Moines Register reports that as COVID-19 cases rise, so does the number of Iowans facing eviction—sometimes in violation of federal eviction protections. According to Iowa Legal Aid, 22 eviction judgments issued in Polk County small claims court from July 13-17 included filings that violated either the CARES Act or Iowa’s statewide eviction moratorium.
Advocates warn that Kentucky will face a surge of evictions if Governor Andy Beshear’s protections expire. The pre-pandemic affordable housing shortage is exacerbating the eviction crisis for low-income renters in Kentucky. “Before, they were one financial crisis or financial shock away from falling behind on their rent and being evicted from their homes,” said Sarah Saadian, NLIHC’s vice president of public policy. “For many people, this pandemic is going to be that precipitating event because they’re seeing the decline in their wages or they lose their job.”
Housing advocates in Kentucky are urging Governor Andy Beshear to extend the eviction moratorium, pointing to data that suggests more than 1,500 renters in Lexington—and more than 220,000 renters statewide—are at risk of eviction.
A court-ordered mediation on July 30 involving Governor Andy Beshear might determine when evictions resume in Kentucky. In March, Governor Beshear implemented an indefinite suspension of evictions for nonpayment of rent. On July 27, however, the Kentucky Supreme Court issued an order saying that courts will accept eviction filings once again on August 1.
Hundreds of protesters demanding a halt to evictions blocked the entrances to the building that houses the main eviction court for the East Bank of New Orleans on July 30. The protest, organized by the New Orleans Renters Rights Assembly, called on officials to stop all court evictions or provide adequate rental assistance.
Louisiana faced a significant affordable housing crisis before the pandemic, and advocates are concerned about a potential wave of evictions and rise in homelessness. The Louisiana Housing Corporation’s rental assistance program was suspended after four days due to receiving an overwhelming number of applications. Housing Louisiana estimates that at least $250 million is needed to help tenants stay stably housed.
New Orleans' COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program began accepting applications on July 27. Funding is limited and will only be available for members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designated vulnerable populations.
ABC7 News interviewed NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel about the looming eviction crisis and the steps Congress must take to prevent this catastrophe. Nearly 300,000 Maryland households cannot pay rent right now and are at risk of eviction. Fair housing advocates and lawmakers have urged Governor Larry Hogan to extend the state’s eviction moratorium.
The Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee’s workgroup on COVID-19 and housing released a report with their findings and recommendations to prevent evictions. The recommendations include extending the moratoriums on evictions and utility shutoffs, providing robust funding for rental assistance, and supporting the right to legal counsel in eviction cases.
According to recent estimates from Stout, approximately 292,000 Maryland households are unable to pay rent and at risk of eviction. This could translate into about 192,000 eviction filings into Maryland courts over the next four months.
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh asked the state’s chief judges to extend the statewide eviction moratorium, which expired on July 25, until January 31. “Many Marylanders were struggling to pay housing and other expenses before the COVID-19 crisis, and the pandemic has exacerbated these difficulties exponentially,” wrote Attorney General Frosh.
The Montgomery County Council approved on July 28, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich’s proposal to provide an additional $20 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds for rental assistance.
After Massachusetts’ eviction moratorium was extended through mid-October, Superior Court Judge Paul Wilson heard arguments on July 30 in a lawsuit filed by two Massachusetts landlords to end the moratorium.
A coalition of 10 housing advocacy groups in Boston made a final effort on July 27 to urge lawmakers to lift the ban on rent control, extend the COVID-19 eviction moratorium, and approve four other progressive housing amendments.
Housing advocates in Kansas City are bracing for a massive eviction and homelessness crisis after the federal eviction moratorium expired and the expanded unemployment benefits expire on July 31. A statewide survey found that at least 48% of Missouri renters are at risk of losing their homes.
The Nebraska legislature rejected an attempt by Lincoln Senator Adam Morfeld to enact an eviction moratorium. Morfield attempted to attach an amendment to a housing bill that would enact an eviction moratorium during a public health emergency, such as COVID-19, but it failed on a largely partisan vote.
Since Nevada’s CARES Housing Assistance Program launched on July 25, a total of 3,085 statewide applications have been submitted. The program is expected to cover a total of 25,000 months of missed rent payments.
Concord city officials discussed removing homeless encampments at a Public Safety Board meeting on July 27. One councilor suggested that Concord develop temporary housing options to address homelessness in the area, particularly given the potential rise in homelessness as a result of the pandemic.
The New Jersey Assembly on July 30 approved legislation to provide eviction and foreclosure protections for tenants and homeowners impacted by the pandemic. The bill was approved with bipartisan support. Advocates applauded the Assembly for passing the People’s Bill (A4266/A4034) and urged the Senate to pass companion legislation (S2340).
Curbed reports that technology and linguistic barriers are making New York’s emergency rent relief program inaccessible to those who need it most. Efforts to make the application accessible and inclusive do little to make up for the program’s strict eligibility requirements and convoluted application process.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio launched the Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project on July 21 to help workers impacted by the pandemic avoid eviction. The city will partner with community dispute resolution centers to offer free case intake and mediation sessions between landlords and tenants.
Since Governor Andrew Cuomo’s initial eviction moratorium expired on June 20, 719 eviction petitions have been filed. This is just a fraction of the petitions the court typically received in a five-week period in previous years.
Bloomberg reports that the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing New York City’s affordable housing crisis to a breaking point. According to the Community Housing Improvement Program, a quarter of the city’s renters have not paid their rent since March.
Physical evictions and eviction hearings resumed last week in Mecklenburg County, with magistrates working their way through 600 eviction cases in just one week. Federal and local COVID-19 rent relief programs have helped the county stave off evictions in about half of the eviction cases.
Evictions have resumed in Mecklenburg County and millions of workers will lose the supplemental federal unemployment benefits at the end of this month, creating the potential for widespread financial hardship and inability to pay rent across Charlotte.
Street Roots published an FAQ to help Oregon renters and homeowners understand the steps they can take to protect themselves from eviction and foreclosure.
The Philadelphia Inquirer investigates how, by outsourcing critical stages of the eviction process to a private entity with little transparency, Philadelphia’s eviction system leaves some tenants blindsided.
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.
Rhode Island launched its Safe Harbor Housing Program, an eviction diversion initiative designed to help landlords and tenants resolve disputes over late or unpaid rent without having to go through the traditional court process.
Eviction filings in South Carolina have been rising since the end of May, when the state’s eviction moratorium expired. Now that the federal eviction moratorium expired on July 24, advocates are preparing for an avalanche of eviction filings.
The Eastern Carolina Housing Organization will use funding from the CARES Act to help people facing eviction in the 13 counties it serves. Applications are available online at: www.echousing.org/get-help.
On the day after the federal eviction moratorium expired, Lone Star Legal Aid received 1,358 applications for eviction assistance—a 36% increase from the number of applications received on the same day last year.
Hurricane Hanna weakened to a tropical depression after making landfall as a hurricane along the Texas Gulf Coast on Saturday evening. It brought heavy rains and threats of flooding to parts of Texas already reeling from COVID-19. “Any hurricane is an enormous challenge,” said Governor Greg Abbott. This challenge is complicated and made even more severe, seeing that it is sweeping through an area that is the most challenged area in the state for COVID-19.”
The Dallas Observer reports that renters in North Texas fear evictions now that the federal eviction moratorium has expired.
Housing advocates in Houston have urged Mayor Sylvester Turner to enact an eviction grace period, but he refuses to put the ordinance on the city council agenda. The potential grace period ordinance, drafted by the city-county Housing Stability Task Force, would significantly slow Texas’ speedy eviction process by giving tenants facing eviction more time to work with their landlords and pay their back rent. Mayor Turner has reportedly been more focused on advocating rental relief in the next congressional COVID-19 relief package.
Officials with the Bear River Association of Governments (BRAG) are concerned that an impending wave of evictions could overwhelm overstretched housing assistance programs. BRAG received 1,200 calls in June from Cache County residents in need of rent or utility assistance. This sharp increase in need came after Governor Gary Herbert allowed the state’s eviction moratorium to expire.
The Salt Lake Valley Coalition to End Homelessness is preparing for the coming winter by working on overflow shelters and other solutions to protect people experiencing homelessness during the coldest months. The coalition is considering using federal coronavirus relief funding to pursue solutions, such as hotel vouchers, acquiring a facility for long-term beds, leasing existing buildings, and continuing operating a hotel. The coalition has already secured 80 hotel vouchers for women experiencing homelessness.
An estimated 1,400 households applied for rental assistance in the first two weeks of Vermont’s $25 million rental assistance program. Advocates expect that applications will increase as the federal supplemental insurance benefit expires.
As eviction cases rise in Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam is again asking the state’s courts to delay eviction hearings until September 7. The governor said that the additional time will provide relief to renters and allow the administration time to develop a legislative package focused on eviction prevention once the General Assembly convenes for a special session on August 18.
The Brookings Institute released a report examining what it would cost to prevent Washington, D.C.’s renters from COVID-19 eviction.
Despite warnings from economists and advocates who say that cutting federal coronavirus relief will have harmful, long-lasting impacts on vulnerable residents, Senate Republicans are preparing to release a fifth bill with reduced unemployment benefits and limited or no additional state aid. More than 600,000 laid-off workers in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia have been relying on federal unemployment benefits that will expire, and courts in the D.C. region are beginning to hear eviction cases.
Federal CARES Act assistance, including the supplemental $600 unemployment assistance, has helped thousands of Washington residents from falling under the federal poverty level. “If we hadn’t had that $600, we’d be homeless,” said one Washington resident. The supplemental unemployment benefit expires July 31, and the Senate Republican proposal released this week would reduce the extra benefit.
Urge your legislators to enact the critical housing and homelessness priorities in the HEROES Act and the “Emergency Housing Protections Relief Act of 2020” in the next coronavirus relief package through the Washington Housing Alliance’s action portal.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Memo: CDBG Coronavirus Response Grantee Resources Related to Preventing Duplication of Benefits - July 13; posted July 29
Summary of Primary CDBG Activity Categories to Support Coronavirus - June 23; posted July 29
CDBG-DR COVID-19 Factsheet - Updated July 24