NLIHC and the National Housing Law Project (NHLP) sent a joint letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson on March 19 urging HUD to take immediate action to protect tenants and homeowners during and after the coronavirus outbreak. They sent a similar letter, also signed by Leading Age, to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to protect tenants and homeowners in rural housing.
Under certain situations, the secretaries of HUD and USDA have broad authority to waive regulations. The letters lists actions the agencies should adopt to ensure a timely response to the continuing and growing impacts of coronavirus on tenants, including implementing a moratorium on all program evictions and subsidy terminations; streamlining and promoting interim recertifications; pausing voucher search periods; issuing enhanced social distancing and hygiene protocols for site-based housing; ensuring accessible language for people with disabilities; and establishing a moratorium on late fees.
The letter to HUD urges Secretary Carson to use HUD’s broad, national platform to call for additional funding for Emergency Solutions Grants for homelessness service providers, for a nationwide moratorium on all evictions and foreclosures, and for market-rate property owners to waive late fees while the coronavirus outbreak continues. The letters close by stressing that immediate action is necessary to ensure renters and homeowners avoid housing insecurity and homelessness during the coronavirus outbreak and after the outbreak has subsided.
The letter to HUD is at: https://bit.ly/2xTpBW3
The letter to USDA is at: https://bit.ly/2xXOfEU