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HUD PIH and Multifamily Issue Guidance on CDC Eviction Moratorium

Two HUD offices, the Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) and the Office of Multifamily Housing Programs (Multifamily), issued guidance regarding the temporary eviction moratorium order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (see Memo, 9/8, 9/14). The CDC eviction moratorium ends on December 31. Both offices issued the same nine basic items of guidance, with only slight modifications reflecting their respective programs. The PIH guidance is in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) posted as a standalone document on October 19. The Multifamily guidance is in that office’s eighth update of Questions and Answers posted on October 14 (see separate article in this issue of Memo).

The second item (EM-CDC 2 for PIH/Q2 for Multifamily) clarifies that the CDC eviction moratorium order does not require public housing agencies (PHAs), Housing Choice Voucher landlords, or Multifamily owners and agents to notify residents about the CDC eviction moratorium or what residents need to do in order to be protected from eviction. However, HUD strongly encourages them to notify their residents that the CDC eviction moratorium exists and that residents must complete and deliver a declaration form to the PHA, landlord, or owner in order to secure the temporary eviction protection.

The second item strongly recommends that PHAs, landlords, and owners who intend to terminate a resident’s HUD assistance, document that they have informed the resident of the temporary eviction protection while the order is in effect (until December 31).

(EM-CDC 4 for PIH/Q4 for Multifamily) reminds residents that they still owe rent and must use best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as their individual circumstances permit. HUD encourages PHAs, landlords, and owners to consider entering into repayment agreements for all outstanding payments with residents facing financial difficulties during the pandemic. Multifamily/Q3 differs by adding that although the CARES Act eviction moratorium has expired, the prohibition on charging fees or related penalties for late or nonpayment of rent continues to apply to Multifamily properties in CARES Act forbearance (see Memo, 4/20).

(EM-CDC 5 for PIH/Q5 for Multifamily) clarifies that each adult listed on a lease, rental agreement, or housing contract should complete the declaration. The declaration may be signed and provided to a PHA, landlord, or owner either electronically or as a hard copy. HUD recommends residents send their signed declaration using a method that has a time-stamped receipt, such as email, and that residents keep a copy of the signed declaration for their records.

(EM-CDC 6 for PIH/Q6 for Multifamily) states that residents are allowed to use a declaration translated into other languages. HUD indicates that the CDC cannot guarantee that declarations in other languages satisfy the requirement to submit a declaration. However, declarations in languages other than English are compliant if they contain the information required to be in a declaration. HUD has translated versions of the declaration available on its website (see Memo, 10/13). NLIHC also has the declaration along with a fact sheet in 13 languages plus English on its National Moratorium website.

(EM-CDC 7 for PIH/Q7 for Multifamily) notes that while the CDC order requires residents to sign the declaration certifying that they have “used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing,” residents may consider their participation in a HUD rental assistance program when determining whether they have made their best effort to obtain government assistance.

(EM-CDC 8 for PIH/Q8 for Multifamily) clarifies that PHAs, landlords, and owners are not required to verify the certifications in a resident’s declaration.

PIH’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Eviction Moratorium FAQs for HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing is at: https://bit.ly/3mbvJN0

Multifamily Questions and Answers for Office of Multifamily Housing Stakeholders: Coronavirus (COVID-19) is at: https://bit.ly/2Te9Bp0

More about public housing is on page 4-30 of NLIHC’s 2020 Advocates’ Guide.

More about Housing Choice Vouchers housing is on page 4-1 of NLIHC’s 2020 Advocates’ Guide.

More about Multifamily housing is on page 4-61 of NLIHC’s 2020 Advocates’ Guide.