USDA’s Rural Development announced that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) eviction moratorium (see Memo, 9/8) applies to all Rural Development Rental Housing. The CDC eviction moratorium applies to Section 515 Rural Rental Housing, Section 514 and 516 Farm Labor Housing, and Section 528 RD Guaranteed Rental Housing. The moratorium, which expires on December 31, 2020, does not provide emergency rental assistance resources to cover back rent, utilities, or fees.
In the announcement, Rural Development (RD) explains the moratorium and eligibility requirements. The announcement also include indicates that USDA will continue to accept forbearance requests under the CARES Act for properties experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 through December 31, 2020, as well as directing stakeholders to their previously posted Multifamily Housing questions and answers on the CARES Act forbearance and COVID-19 information in general (see Memo, 7/27). While this notice was emailed to stakeholders, this announcement has not been published to the Rural Development Covid-19 Response site.
NLIHC and the National Housing Law Project (NHLP) sent a letter on September 15 to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, and Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria urging the agencies to require federally supported rental property owners and housing authorities to provide tenants written notice of their rights under the federal eviction moratorium and steps they must take to be protected. Two HUD offices—Public and Indian Housing (PIH) and Multifamily Housing Program, recently informed their stakeholders of the CDC eviction moratorium (see Memo, 9/14).
To be protected, qualified renters facing eviction should immediately provide a signed declaration to their landlords. More details about the moratorium and a sample declaration renters can use is on NLIHC’s National Moratorium webpage that includes NLIHC’s and the National Housing Law Project’s Overview of National Eviction Moratorium, NLIHC’s National Eviction Moratorium: FAQ for Renters, and versions of the declaration in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Arabic, Burmese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Creole, Hmong, Tagalog, Somali, Russian and Punjabi.
In the declaration, renters must state, under penalty of perjury, that: 1) they have used their best efforts to obtain rental assistance; 2) they expect to earn no more than $99,000 in 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return), were not required to report income in 2019 to the IRS, or did not receive an Economic Impact Payment under the CARES Act; 3) they are unable to pay the full rent or make a full rent payment due to loss of income, loss of work hours, or extraordinary medical costs; 4) they are using best efforts to make partial rent payments; and 5) an eviction would result in homelessness or force them to double or triple up with other households.
USDA’s Rural Development Announcement is at: https://bit.ly/3073vL3
NLIHC’s National Moratorium webpage is at: https://bit.ly/3mkEWno
More about USDA Rural Rental Housing Programs is on page 4-15 of NLIHC’s 2020 Advocates’ Guide.