Updated NLIHC Resources
- Treasury's ERA1 Reallocation Guidance
- ARPA Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds: Affordable Housing Investments
The Biden administration announced on November 9 that FEMA will continue to cover the full costs of COVID-19 response activities eligible under FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) program through April 1, 2022. The 100% cost reimbursement includes costs associated with non-congregate sheltering for individuals experiencing homelessness. In an executive order issued in January 2021, President Biden directed FEMA to cover 100% of approved costs. He extended the guidance through the end of the year.
Advocacy and Research
The Urban Institute finds that while awareness of federal emergency rental assistance (ERA) has increased dramatically, many landlords and tenants are unsure of whether they qualify for aid, and many are not applying. Additional outreach is urgently needed to address what ERA covers and who is eligible to apply.
The Associated Press reports the Biden administration announced on November 9 an extension of the federal government’s 100% reimbursement of eligible COVID-19 emergency response costs to states, tribes, and territories through April 1, 2022.
Vox reports on a new analysis by JPMorgan Chase, which finds that while landlords lost money early in the pandemic, they were able to cut expenses by even more than revenues fell, resulting in higher cash balances by June 2020 than when the pandemic began. The analysis undermines the narrative that eviction moratoriums imposed an unfair cost on landlords and would harm the apartment industry.
State and Local News
AL.com reports legal aid and housing advocates hope to see Alabama increase access to legal representation for people facing eviction and make its COVID-19 emergency rental assistance program permanent. According to Nicholas McKinney, an attorney with Legal Services Alabama, most tenants are unaware of the $263 million in federal rent relief the state was awarded to keep tenants in their homes.
According to the Arizona Republic, the board that oversees Arizona’s elected constables – who play a key role during the eviction process – has close ties to the most influential landlord group in the state. The relationship drew new scrutiny during the pandemic when constables played an even more critical role in the eviction process, at times deciding whether renters qualified for eviction moratoriums.
KGTV reports that with San Diego County’s eviction moratorium expired, housing advocates are pushing for increased protections as no-fault eviction notices spread through the city. According to the Alliance for Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), many renters have received 60-day eviction notices from landlords who plan to pull the property off the market or renovate the property, which is allowed under state law. The City of San Diego, however, has no proof requirements to hold landlords accountable. ACCE is calling on city officials to hold landlords accountable and require relocation assistance for tenants.
A new pre-eviction diversion program mandated by the Indiana Supreme Court launched in the Howard County courthouse last week. According to Howard County Magistrate Cheyenne Shepherd, renters have been eager to use the new program, but landlords have not been as enthusiastic.
WHAS11 reports a Louisville resident was evicted while in the hospital. While Louisville has about $15 million in federal rent relief available, many renters and landlords do not know about the assistance, and for those who do apply, it can take months for the state to process applications. More than 9,900 evictions have been filed this year in the Jefferson County court system. This number does not capture the extent of the eviction crisis, however, since it does not include illegal evictions.
Renters in the Gulf South are facing a slow but steady rise in evictions after the federal eviction moratorium ended in late August. In New Orleans, for example, 125 evictions were filed in the first full week of October, the highest number in almost a year. Landlords have made it difficult for renters to access assistance by refusing to participate in state-run programs.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Maryland failed to reach the federal benchmark for distributing emergency rental assistance funds. While Governor Larry Hogan dismissed the threat of losing these critical resources, Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) sent a letter urging the state to speed the distribution of aid.
The Detroit Eviction Assistance and Prevention Program has awarded $60 million in emergency rental and utility assistance, with another $16 million awaiting final approval. An additional $62 million in funding is available, and Detroit renters can apply for free legal aid at: www.detroitevictionhelp.org
Nebraska Public Media reports Douglas County is seeing a rise in evictions due to the end of the federal eviction moratorium in August, with 80 evictions filed last week. Rental assistance has helped keep families in their homes, and there are still funds available to Nebraskans in need of relief.
The City of Las Vegas launched a new hotline and rental assistance program for tenants impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Qualified applicants may receive financial assistance for rent, rent arrears, home energy costs, and other housing expenses.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada held a pop-up eviction clinic at a job fair in Las Vegas on November 6. Legal aid attorneys were available to counsel tenants facing eviction.
The Dayton Daily News reports millions of dollars in federal rent relief allocated to Montgomery County remain available for Dayton-area tenants behind on rent. The city of Kettering agreed to accept $1 million more in funds for the STAYPUT program after approving $500,000 in rent relief for residents of Centerville, Kettering, Moraine, and Washington Township.
Lane County officials are considering extending an eviction pause for renters who have applied for assistance by 30 days because the state’s 60-day window does not provide enough time for renters to receive assistance. More than 10,000 people statewide have applied for aid but surpassed the 60-day window, and thousands of those individuals have been waiting more than 120 days. Multnomah and Washington counties have extended the grace period to 90 days, but the extension only applies in unincorporated areas of Washington County.
The Texas Rent Relief Program closed its application portal on November 5 because the program has spent most of the $1.9 billion in emergency rental assistance (ERA) funding. The program had approved more than $1.2 billion to help more than 223,000 households, but it will run out of money soon. While some local governments still have available aid, those funds may soon run out.
Governor Phil Scott announced on November 9 Vermont is extending emergency hotel housing for individuals experiencing homelessness through April 1, 2022. The announcement comes as the White House extended 100% cost reimbursement for eligible non-congregate sheltering costs through FEMA’s Public Assistance program. As of October 14, about 1,500 Vermonters had been housed under the program. Some housing advocates are urging state officials to expand the program to include everyone in need of housing and eliminate the 84-day cap on assistance.
The City of Bellevue is offering landlord-tenant mediation and providing emergency rental assistance to keep families housed. The Bellevue Conflict Resolution Center, which has helped residents resolve disputes for years, is now helping landlords and tenants negotiate repayment plans through the state’s court-mandated Eviction Resolution Pilot Program.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Accessing HOME-ARP Administrative and Planning Funds Fact Sheet – November 2021
- COVID-19 Homeless System Response: Honolulu Housing Fair – November 2021