Department of Housing and Urban Development
NLIHC’s DHRC will 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.
Partners leading the work on the Framework for an Equitable COVID-19 Homelessness Response released a new video on prioritizing CARES Act funding within communities’ COVID-19 homelessness responses. Peggy Bailey, vice president for housing policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, joins Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett to discuss how the city has worked to prioritize CARES Act funding as part of its COVID-19 homelessness.
MarketWatch reports on the financial cliff facing renters and landlords as Trump abandons federal stimulus talks. “It’s extraordinarily reckless and irresponsible for Trump to blow up negotiations now, when so many renters and small landlords are struggling and when there is growing bipartisan agreement on the urgent need for emergency rental assistance,” says NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel.
NBC News reports that with stimulus talks stalled, renters and landlords are bracing for a new wave of evictions. NLIHC’s Diane Yentel explains that when landlords fall behind on rent, it can have detrimental impacts on the number of affordable housing units.
Mother Jones examines how California farmworkers’ housing and economic insecurities are magnifying the twin crises of the pandemic and unprecedented wildfire season.
Voice of America reports on the millions of renters in the U.S. who are facing eviction amid the pandemic. The article mentions the joint report released by NLIHC, the Aspen Institute, and other national partners.
Bloomberg City Lab discusses the eviction and foreclosure moratorium included in the $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief package passed by House Democrats. The revised relief package also includes $50 billion in emergency rental assistance funds.
Newsweek compiled state-by-state guidelines to eviction protection during the coronavirus pandemic.
Governing examines the impacts of COVID-19 and the looming eviction crisis on the entire rental market. Millions of renters are at risk of losing their homes when the CDC moratorium expires, and small landlords who rely on rental income may default on their mortgages and be forced to sell properties to institutional investors. There is an urgent need for robust federal rental assistance.
State and Local News
A list of state and local emergency rental assistance programs is available here from NLIHC.
The Arizona Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal filed by landlords to overturn the state’s eviction moratorium. Phoenix area evictions are climbing despite the state moratorium, which is set to expire October 31, and the CDC eviction moratorium. According to the Maricopa County Justice Courts, eviction filings rose to 2,863 in September, up from 2,171 in August and 1,768 in July.
Maricopa County is allocating $20 million of CARES Act funds to expand programs for struggling renters, overstretched nonprofits, and food banks. About $6.25 million will specifically help renters avoid eviction.
Of six unlawful detainer civil hearings in Pulaski County Circuit Court last week, judges granted evictions in all but one. While some landlords had legal representation, none of the tenants did. Many Arkansas tenants are not aware of the CDC eviction moratorium or the steps they must take to receive protection under the order.
An LA Times article highlights the successes of Project Roomkey while acknowledging it is a short-term response to the long-term public health crisis. Governor Gavin Newsom says solving homelessness amid the COVID-19 remains his priority.
The landlord lobby in San Francisco abandoned its effort to appeal a law providing tenants permanent relief from eviction if they could not pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to state estimates, 70,000 more Colorado households will be severely rent-burdened in the coming months. The greatest need for housing assistance is likely to come in early 2021.
According to the governor’s office, Governor Ron DeSantis allowed the statewide moratorium to expire on October 1 to prevent confusion between the state and CDC order. The CDC order, however, does not protect homeowners from foreclosure.
The Tampa Bay Times explains how renters can receive protection under the CDC eviction moratorium. Several Florida lawyers are concerned that tenants assume the moratorium provides automatic protection.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that despite no eviction notices filed in court, property owners changed the locks on the homes of more than 20 Tampa Park Apartments residents on October 2.
A group of tenants rallied on October 7 to protest evictions and deplorable living conditions at a DeKalb County complex.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports an extended stay motel company with ties to former Governor Roy Barnes is facing a lawsuit after forcing several long-time residents to move out last month. Activists and former residents protested outside the Efficiency Lodge in DeKalb County as another wave of renters behind on their payments were told to leave. While not explicitly stated in the law, some lawyers argue hotels cannot and should not remove residents without going through the formal court eviction process. Learn more about why extended-stay hotel evictions may not be legal.
Bloomberg City Lab examines Indianapolis’ evidence-based approach in its immediate COVID-19 response and its steps toward a long-term plan to ensure all residents have safe, stable, permanent housing.
Rent Zero Kansas is calling on County Commissioners to address the growing eviction cliff. The tenants group sent a letter to county commissioners demanding they suspend rent and mortgage payments, strengthen eviction and foreclosure moratoriums, ban utility cut-offs, and protect people experiencing homelessness by providing housing and expanding services.
The Maine Affordable Housing Coalition (MAHC) compiled an evictions database using filings from 13 district courts in six counties and found 906 evictions in those counties in the first half of 2020. In a majority of cases, Mainers were behind on rent for less than two months and owed between $1,000 and $1,500. The Bangor Daily News outlines five lessons we can learn from MAHC’s report on the tens of thousands of renters at risk of eviction in the coming months.
Marketplace reports that as colder months approach, Maine housing advocates are seeking new resources to meet the housing, health, and food needs of people experiencing homelessness and people on the brink of homelessness.
Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott introduced on October 5 Council Bill 20-0625, which would ensure tenants have the right to an attorney in eviction cases. As Baltimore braces for a wave of evictions due to COVID-19, the Public Justice Center and other advocates are urging lawmakers to establish the right to counsel for tenants in eviction cases.
The second phase of Baltimore County’s eviction prevention program will provide up to $2 million in rental assistance for residents who have lost income as a result of the pandemic. The county began accepting applications on October 6.
An op-ed in WBUR urges officials to extend the statewide eviction moratorium and provide long-term housing assistance. A state bill, “An Act to Guarantee Housing Stability During the COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery” (H. 4878), would ban evictions due to nonpayment of rent for one year, stabilize rents, prevent “no fault” evictions, establish a relief fund for small landlords, and allow homeowners to defer their mortgage payments until the end of their loan. Read a factsheet about the bill here.
An article in the Sentinel & Enterprise urges the Massachusetts judiciary to intervene to prevent a potential tsunami of evictions when the state’s temporary ban on evictions and foreclosures expires on October 17. The Metropolitan Area Planning Council urges judicial leaders to delay all non-essential eviction hearings until at least January 1 and asks Governor Charlie Baker to extend the moratorium to the end of the year.
As of September 28, more than 33,500 people have been screened for initial eligibility for Minnesota’s $100 million rent and mortgage assistance program, producing 22,000 applications initiated in the system with requests totaling $30.3 million of assistance. Read more data about housing assistance requests here.
An op-ed in the MinnPost examines why it is past time for Minnesota, and our country, to prioritize housing as a foundation for a strong future. The authors discuss the mounting urgency to protect Minnesotans hit hardest by the converging crises of the pandemic and systemic, historic racial injustice.
The city of Bloomington has operated several hotels as non-congregate shelters for medically vulnerable and elderly people who had been living in congregate shelters. Council Member Jenna Carter is calling on the city to maintain its emergency mindset while also developing long-term housing plans for those currently residing in hotels.
The Mississippi Legislature passed a bill to allocate $20 million in CARES Act funding, which had been earmarked for small businesses, to residential and commercial landlords who have lost rental income. Governor Tate Reeves’ office also plans to announce its decision to allocate the state’s $38 million Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) to rental assistance.
Big If True explores how, in Mississippi, eviction moratoriums without rental assistance are “just kicking a can down the road.”
Omaha Tenants United and Legal Aid of Nebraska held a virtual town hall to answer renters’ questions about their housing situation and eviction protections.
Despite the CDC eviction moratorium, hundreds of renters in New Hampshire have received eviction notices over the past month. The chief program officer of Families in Transition-New Horizons notes that even with rental assistance and extended eviction moratoriums, the housing shortage in south New Hampshire continues to be a significant issue.
Montclair altered its affordable housing ordinance to include a rental assistance program for very low-income tenants in eligible rental units. Essex County is offering six months of assistance to eligible tenants whose incomes have been impacted by the pandemic. Montclair will provide low-income tenants assistance with their first three months’ rent.
Essex County is launching a $5.5 million emergency rental assistance program. The Essex County Coronavirus Emergency Rental Assistance Program is funded through the Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) and Emergency Solutions – Coronavirus (ESG-CV) programs.
Thousands of New York City residents are at risk of losing their homes amid fears of a second wave of COVID-19. There are roughly 14,000 outstanding evictions in New York City, and 1,500 landlords have filed a motion to evict tenants.
A new safety report finds New York City courts pose severe coronavirus risks to the workers and the public.
Governor Roy Cooper’s administration expects the state’s rental and utility assistance program to open next week. Approximately $94 million will support rent and utility payments, and another $53 million will help families experiencing homelessness or facing immediate risk of homelessness. An additional $28 million will be administered by local governments to help pay rent and utility bills, food distribution, internet access, virus testing, and other approved spending categories.
Forsyth County Court Clerk Renita Linville will make changes to eviction procedures, including extending the gap in the scheduling of eviction hearings and encouraging landlords to take advantage of mediation in disputes with tenants.
The Ohio Housing Finance Agency’s annual Housing Needs Assessment finds that the coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating pre-existing housing insecurities. Both the housing and rental markets are at risk of long-term impacts from the pandemic and subsequent economic fallout.
Ohio advocates are concerned about the rise in homelessness that has occurred due to pandemic-related job loss. Without additional federal funding, homelessness will increase further after the CDC eviction moratorium is lifted.
The Associated Press reports Oklahoma lawmakers are facing pressure from housing and tenants’ rights advocates to reform the state’s eviction laws. 500,000 Oklahomans could face eviction due to high unemployment and other economic consequences from the pandemic.
Big If True, a news nonprofit organization based in Oklahoma City, reports on transparency concerns related to Oklahoma’s closed eviction hearings. An episode of the organization’s Hard Reset podcast discusses advocates’ concerns that many renters are unaware of the CDC eviction moratorium.
Governor Tom Wolf issued an emergency order extending the deadline for the COVID Relief - Mortgage and Rental Assistance Grant Program until November 4. The application deadline was originally scheduled for September 30.
Generocity reports the CARES Rent Relief Program administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency has such a “cumbersome” process that in August, almost 17,000 tenants applied for $32 million in assistance but only 1,800 tenants were approved for a total of $3.3 million.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives canceled its voting session after a Republican lawmaker tested positive for the coronavirus, delaying a critical vote to extend and improve the state’s $150 million rent relief program. Lawmakers have known about the problems with the rent relief program for months, but Republican leadership did not schedule a vote before October.
The NBC 10 I-Team reports the number of eviction cases filed in Rhode Island district court during the pandemic jumped once again in September. A total of 1,226 eviction cases were filed from June through August. The number of filings jumped to 1,667 by the end of September, marking the fourth month in a row that filings increased since courts reopened.
Nearly 50 residents were removed from an encampment in Chattanooga on September 29 due to a construction project. Residents were given very little notice to leave and awoke that morning to bulldozers and excavators. An official with the city’s homeless division said her office should have been given more notice due to the number of residents displaced by the action.
The Tennessean discusses what Tennessee renters need to know about the CDC eviction moratorium. Advocates recommend tenants contact their local legal aid agency if they have any questions about the moratorium and the steps they must take to be protected.
DarKenya Waller, the executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, discusses why civil legal aid is essential for economic recovery.
The city of Houston and Harris County are each investing $5 million toward the new COVID-19 Homeless Respite and Rehabilitation Center to address the health and housing needs of individuals who are homeless and living with mental illness.
The Bellingham Herald examines housing advocates’ concerns that without additional eviction protections and resources, Washington will see a surge of evictions and increased homelessness. The Washington Low Income Housing Alliance continues urging state officials to extend the eviction moratorium, currently set to expire on October 15, to March 2021 and couple the moratorium with significant rental assistance.
Emergency rental assistance remains available for people struggling to pay rent in D.C. The lower-than-expected utilization of rental assistance programs is likely due to renters’ confusion about whether they qualify for assistance.
The Equal Rights Center discusses what the CDC eviction moratorium means for DC, Maryland, and Virginia renters and how to claim protection under it.
The DC Council unanimously approved a measure requiring landlords to provide photographic evidence that tenants have been given notice of eviction cases against them. The amendment came in response to an investigation from DCist that revealed hundreds of instances in which process servers filed affidavits that were likely false. While evictions are prohibited during the public health emergency, a surge of evictions is likely when the ban is lifted.
Community Advocates, a nonprofit helping to administer Milwaukee County’s rental assistance program, has received more than 3,800 applications. Tens of thousands more applications have been sent to a separate agency administering the state’s rent relief program in Milwaukee.
An op-ed in the Waunakee Tribune written by Michael Basford, director for the Wisconsin Interagency Council on Homelessness, outlines the need for an “all hands on deck” approach to ending homelessness in the state.
Department of Housing and Urban Development