HUD posted updates on May 26 to its “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Eviction Moratorium FAQs for HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH).” The previous update was issued on February 5. In the recent update, PIH included changes to nine of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and added a single new FAQ addressing “PHA Round 5 COVID FAQs” (see Memo, 3/29).
The last page of the update includes a statement clarifying that even though the CARES Act eviction moratorium has expired, the CARES Act 30-day notice to vacate requirement for nonpayment of rent, in Section 4024(c)(1), is still in effect for all properties covered by the CARES Act moratorium. This applies to the Public Housing program, Section 8 Housing Choice Voice (HCV) and Project-Based Voucher (PBV) programs, Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation (Mod Rehab), Section 184, and Title VI loan guarantee programs administered by PIH. Legal services attorneys immediately lauded the provision because it can greatly assist residents in jurisdictions where that law is not being honored.
New FAQ EM-CDC 10 (page 5) states that landlords, owners, and other persons with a legal right to pursue eviction or possessory action who violate the CDC Order may be subject to a fine. For “persons,” a fine of no more than $100,000 or one year in jail, or both, may be imposed if the violation does not result in death; a fine of no more than $250,000 or one year in jail, or both, may be imposed if the violation results in a death. An “organization” violating the CDC Order may be subject to a fine of no more than $200,000 per event if the violation does not result in a death, or $500,000 per event if the violation results in a death. The “organization” language was previously included in the February 5 version at EM-CDC 16.
EM-CDC 10 adds that on March 29, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a joint statement that evicting tenants in violation of the CDC, state, or local moratoria, or evicting or threatening to evict them without informing them of their legal rights under such moratoriums, may violate prohibitions against deceptive and unfair practices, including under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act.
EM-CDC 1 (page 1) and EM-CDC 6 (page 4) added Amharic, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Russian, Somali, and Traditional Chinese translations to the Spanish and English versions of the CDC declaration form that residents must submit to be protected.
EM-CDC 1 and EM-CDC 5 (page 3) previously stated that a resident had to submit CDC declarations to their property’s owners or to another person who has the right to have them evicted or removed. The updated version adds, “this may include the property managers and attorneys or agents of the landlord.”
EM-CDC 9 (page 5) previously stated that public housing agencies (PHAs), landlords, Tribes, or Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHEs) are not required to verify the truthfulness of a resident’s CDC declaration. The updated version adds that those entities may challenge the truthfulness of a tenant’s declaration in any state or municipal court.
EM-CDC 13 (page 6), regarding what PHAs can do to prevent evictions of public housing residents when the CDC eviction moratorium ends on June 30, notes that PIH is updating its “Eviction Prevention and Stability Toolkit,” but lists several attachments in the existing toolkit that can still be referenced. It also adds that PHAs can connect residents to local resources such as the U.S. Treasury Department’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), legal aid assistance. The FAQ adds that PHAs can remind residents that stimulus payments, child tax credit, income tax refunds, and the $300/week unemployment benefit under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) are not included in the calculation of income and can be used as a resource to help with unpaid rent.
Similarly, EM-CDC 17 (page 8) addresses what PHAs can do to prevent the eviction of Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) households when the CDC eviction moratorium ends. The FAQ adds to existing suggestions that a PHA could connect a resident with local resources, such as Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and remind a resident that stimulus payments, child tax credit, income tax refunds, and the $300/week unemployment benefit under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) are not included in the calculation of income and could be used as a resource to help with unpaid rent. EM-CDC 17 adds that PIH is updating its “Eviction Prevention and Stability Toolkit,” yet lists several attachments in the current toolkit that can still be referenced.
EM-CDC 63 (page 7) addresses what an HCV household can do if they are being wrongfully evicted by a landlord during the CDC eviction moratorium. The updated version adds information about available legal assistance at https://bit.ly/3fp5qTi, at the ACL Elder Care Locator https://bit.ly/3ftWHiN, and at https://www.lawhelp.org.
“Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Eviction Moratorium FAQs for HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing” (updated May 26, 2021) is at: https://bit.ly/3wDpx62
More about the CDC eviction moratorium is on NLIHC’s National Eviction Moratorium website at: https://bit.ly/34rYRZz
More information about public housing is on page 4-30 of NLIHC’s 2021 Advocates’ Guide.
More information about housing choice vouchers is on page 4-1 of NLIHC’s 2021 Advocates’ Guide.