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HUD Posts FAQ on CARES Act HOME Program Eviction Moratorium

The Office of Affordable Housing Programs (OAHP) in HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) posted a May 1 document on Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME). The FAQ provides guidance on the CARES Act temporary moratorium on evictions.

The FAQ reiterates CARES Act provisions that created a federal moratorium on evictions of tenants living in certain types of housing, including housing supported with HOME funds (see Memo, 4/13). The federal moratorium took effect on March 27 and extends until July 25, 2020. (NOTE: While the FAQ indicates that the last day is July 24, OAHP issued a summary for residents that indicates the last day is July 25, and staff of the Office of Public and Indian Housing acknowledged conflicting dates on a public call. Consequently, HUD’s General Counsel concluded that July 25 is the appropriate date.) During this 120-day period, landlords cannot file new eviction actions for nonpayment of rent, nor can they charge late fees, penalties, or other charges related to nonpayment of rent. The FAQ states that such fees, penalties, or charges cannot be accumulated for residents to pay after the moratorium is lifted.

While the federal moratorium prohibits landlords from evicting tenants after the moratorium expires until the landlord gives a tenant a 30-day notice of intent to file for eviction, the HOME FAQ does not specify this statutory 30-day period.

HUD indicates that HOME participating jurisdictions (PJs) should provide written notice to owners of HOME-assisted projects (including single-family properties with rental units) and HOME tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA) units regarding the CARES Act prohibitions described above. PJs should direct project owners to provide tenants with information about their due process rights under HOME and local and state laws. PJs should encourage owners to provide as much flexibility as possible to tenants regarding repayment of delinquent rent after the moratorium ends.

Regarding “projects,” the FAQ states that the eviction moratorium applies to rental projects that receive HOME funding and are currently within the period of affordability (POA) specified in their HOME written agreement. The moratorium applies to rental projects that have HOME loans in their term of repayment that are secured on the property as a first or subordinate lien, regardless of whether the project is within the POA.

The moratorium also applies to homeownership projects with rental units that received HOME assistance currently within the POA, including POAs that are longer than the minimum period. The moratorium also applies to homeownership projects containing rental units that have a HOME loan within their term of repayment that is secured on the property as a first or subordinate lien.

Regarding “units,” the FAQ states that the eviction moratorium applies to HOME-assisted units in or on rental or homeownership property within the POA, including POAs that are longer than the minimum period. It also applies to residential rental units in or on properties (i.e., multifamily and multiunit single family) that have HOME loans secured on the property as a first or subordinate lien, regardless of whether the project is within its POA.

The HOME Program CARES Act Eviction Moratorium FAQs are at: https://bit.ly/2xFcfgi

More information about the HOME program is on page 5-5 of NLIHC’s 2020 Advocates’ Guide.