The Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition will lead recurring national calls on Coronavirus and Homelessness/Housing every Monday at 2:30pmET. We are thoroughly devoted to ensuring members of our community, from across the country, are fully equipped with the information and resources they need to respond to this national outbreak of Coronavirus and its impact on people experiencing homelessness and low-income households. Register for these calls at: https://tinyurl.com/ru73qan
- March 16: Presentation slides (PDF): https://tinyurl.com/sg52jz6, Recording: https://youtu.be/Un9g4VU9VPM
- March 23: Presentation slides (PDF): https://tinyurl.com/sx63uj8, Recording: https://tinyurl.com/uo4byow
- March 30: Presentation slides (PDF): https://tinyurl.com/tk9hmm7; Recording: https://tinyurl.com/rj7qxwf
The NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition is pushing for a broad array of resources and protections, including emergency rental assistance and eviction prevention assistance, a national moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, and emergency funds for homelessness service providers, housing authorities, and housing providers, among other recommendations. For more information, download our recommendations on the federal response to the coronavirus below. You can also visit our dedicated webpage outlining our requests to Congress.
Click here to find your members of Congress and urge them to provide resources to help ensure housing stability for low-income households and people experiencing homelessness.
House Democrats are moving quickly on plans to create a fourth coronavirus stimulus package. “This fourth package will be about recovery” said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Some predict an even harder battle to get the bill passed
The Senate reached a critical point today as Democrats voted down two attempts to bring a nearly $2 trillion coronavirus economic rescue package to the floor. Democrats have largely rejected the Republican proposal and call for more robust measures to assist low income individuals affected by the pandemic.
The New Democrat Coalition released a set of recommendations for Coronavirus response and economic recovery that included Emergency Solutions Grants for shelter providers, an increase to the Housing Choice Voucher Program and more. The DHRC has been championing many of these measures.
The Republican leader of the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry (NC-R), and the Republican leader of the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance Steven Stivers (OH-R) sent letters to the largest Public Housing Authorities urging them to implement policies assisting vulnerable residents during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) sent a letter to the President urging the administration to provide immediate relief to individuals experiencing homelessness amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released a statement calling on the National Sheriffs Association to place a halt on all evictions during the COVID-19 crisis.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) sent a letter to Senate leadership asking for homelessness assistance funding to be included in any legislative action surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The Senator voted against the latest Coronavirus package calling the packages corporate stimulus package “shameful.”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) both urged the Trump Administration to approve all disaster assistance requested by New York State.
Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) sent a letter to Senate leadership asking them to ensure that people experiencing homelessness are able to access cash payments under consideration in COVID-19 response legislation.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) released an op-ed calling for a more grassroots stimulus.
Representative Al Green (D-TX) introduced a bill to provide support for fair housing enforcement activities associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH) introduced two pieces of legislation to protect public housing residents during the coronavirus pandemic. The first, the Protecting Our Elderly Residents Act, requires HUD to establish guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19 in elderly housing properties and public housing. The second, the PHA Public Housing Flexible Funding Act, allows public housing authorities to use operating and capital funds to address the ongoing public health emergency.
Representative Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced the Informed Resident Notification Act, which requires public housing authorities to notify all residents in a public dwelling when a COVID-19 outbreak is detected.
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced S. 3534, the Pandemic Assistance Disaster Act, which would clarify the ability of FEMA to provide financial assistance directly to individuals during a pandemic, including the current coronavirus outbreak.
Representative Denny Heck (D-WA) introduced the Emergency Rental Assistance Act of 2020, which would increase short-term rental assistance for most Americans by expanding the Emergency Solutions Grant Program.
Representatives Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) introduced legislation, The Public Health Emergency Shelter Act, that would provide $15.5 billion in emergency grants for homeless assistance.
Representatives Jesύs “Chuy” García (D-IL) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced the Rental Eviction Moratorium Act, which institutes a nationwide eviction ban that self-terminates six months after the President’s Emergency Declaration is ended by FEMA.
Representative Nydia M. Veláquez (D-NY) introduced legislation that temporarily suspends rent contribution requirements owed by tenants living public housing or those who receive Housing Choice Vouchers during the coronavirus emergency.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance cautioning against the clearing of homeless encampments during the community spread of COVID-19. The move was celebrated by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty’s Housing not Handcuffs Campaign – of which NLIHC is a part.
FEMA approved Major Disaster Declarations for 24 separate states and territories, allowing the agency to stand up more assistance programs as both states deal with growing numbers of COVID-19 patients.
FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) program – one category of which is operating nationally after President Trump’s National Declaration of an Emergency – will have simplified forms and application processes – allowing applicants (State, local, tribal, governments and eligible nonprofits) to apply directly through the PA website.
NLIHC has released a fact sheet on Public Assistance funding uses and eligibility. This sheet will be updated as new information is released.
FEMA also released additional explanations on the Public Assistance program for tribal governments.
A memo from DHS has authorized FEMA to fund 100% of the emergency assistance activities conducted by National Guard units under state control in California, New York, and Washington.
FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor released a message to all emergency managers in the United States, laying out seven critical steps for pandemic response. Included are directions to collect data on community vulnerability and identify locations to quarantine patients that are unable to isolate themselves inside a home.
As FEMA takes the reigns of pandemic response, confusion and frustration are mounting both inside and outside the agency.
FEMA laid out reimbursement guidelines for National Guard activities in areas with Major Disaster Declarations. FEMA will fully reimburse states for eligible National Guard deployments.
FEMA extended its grace period for Flood Insurance renewal premiums. The new grace period will be extended until June 15.
In a letter to Congress, OMB requested $400 million dollars for HUD, specifically for Homeless Assistance Grants.
President Trump announced a suspension in foreclosures and evictions for Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages for single family properties for the next 60 days.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson spoke at a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing over the weekend. The Secretary spoke about the agency’s move to institute a eviction and foreclosure moratorium in HUD-owned properties and championed the Public Housing Agencies doing the same.
Acting HUD Deputy Secretary/Assistance Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commission released a video message to FHA stakeholders regarding potential processing delays, and to remind FHA servicers of their obligation to offer every available loss mitigation option to distressed borrowers in order to prevent foreclosure.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson appeared on Fox News to discuss the federal response to the coronavirus. His comments touched on HUD’s work coordinating CoC’s and public health departments.
FHFA announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be offering multifamily property owners mortgage forbearance on the condition that they suspend all evictions for renters unable to pay rent due to the impact of coronavirus.
FHFA also will be providing flexible alternatives to current requirements regarding the appraisal and employment verification of homes being bought, sold, and refinanced through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
FHFA and Freddie Mac released additional details on a plan to offer multifamily property owners mortgage forbearance on the condition that they suspend all evictions for renters unable to pay rent due to the impact of coronavirus.
The USDA announced that it would be suspending foreclosures and evictions for 60 days on USDA-financed homes across rural America.
The Department of Agriculture announced it would be suspending foreclosures on borrowers with USDA Single-Family Housing Direct (SFHD) loans and evictions of persons in SFHD secured properties for a period of 60 days.
USDA Rural Development launched a COVID-19 resource page to keep stakeholders, partners, and customers aware of new developments.
USDA Rural Development announced that it would be granting temporary exception to interior inspection appraisals and verbal verification of employment for its single-family housing guaranteed loan program.
USDA Rural Development announced that it would be implementing a number of measures to assist rural residents and their communities. This includes waiving late payments in multifamily housing, placing a moratorium on foreclosures of its Single-Family Housing Direct Loans, and more.
The Washington Post covered COVID-19’s impact on low income renters and what happens when a tenant is evicted during a pandemic. NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel was interviewed for the story.
Mother Jones interviewed NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel on the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on individuals experiencing homelessness and the shelters that serve them.
US News and World Report reported on last week’s DHRC conference call, detailing the challenges individuals experiencing homelessness and the housing insecure will experience during the pandemic.
The AP released analysis showing that the vast majority of American renters would not be assisted by HUD’s decision to pause evictions and foreclosures for a 60-day period.
Vox covered the threat to individuals experiencing homelessness posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NYTimes covered the ongoing struggle to head off evictions due to the pandemic at the federal, state, and local level.
An article from the Brookings Institute covered ways in which homeless populations and individuals living in substandard or unaffordable housing are uniquely susceptible to an epidemic.
The VA is strongly encouraging holders of veterans loans to abstain from initiating foreclosure proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic
The NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition will continue to push for a broad array of resources and protections, including emergency rental assistance and eviction prevention assistance, a national moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, and emergency funds for homelessness service providers, housing authorities, and housing providers, among other recommendations. For more information, see DHRC’s full list of recommendations, which will continue to be expanded and refined.
With the passage of the third coronavirus stimulus package on Friday, advocates are now beginning to push federal agencies to release funding as soon as possible. For more details on what’s in the bill for housing and homelessness, see NLIHC’s full analysis and chart. An analysis of the eviction moratorium found in the bill is available here from the National Housing Law Project.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness will be holding a webinar series covering a wide variety of topics related to COVID-19 and homelessness. The first - covering federal funding opportunities - will be happening this coming Wednesday at 3:00pmET. The second – covering national protocol on shelter operations during the pandemic - will be happening this Thursday at 3:30pmET. Additional webinars are planned, covering street outreach on April 7 and FEMA’s COVID-19 efforts on April 9.
The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty’s Housing Not Handcuffs Campaign released a letter template for organizations to send their elected officials calling for a moratorium on the clearing of homeless encampments during the pandemic.
National Innovation Services released an equity framework for emergency management and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Lawyers Guild released a Know Your Rights guide for individuals living under a state of emergency.
NLIHC has developed a map showing housing and homelessness data as well as the number of COVID-19 cases for every county in the continental United States.
NLIHC and the National Housing Law Project sent a letter to HUD and the USDA asking the agencies to take aggressive steps to preserve the housing stability of low-income communities.
Enterprise Community Partners has released a webpage containing policy recommendations and resources for state and local leaders.
Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice released a series of asks regarding the Coronavirus/COVID-19 stimulus bill that includes increased homeless assistance funding and a halt on evictions and foreclosures.
The Housing Assistance Council released a letter calling for a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for USDA Sec. 502 housing. They have also released a page of resources on COVID-19/Rural Housing.
The Center for American Progress released a blog article calling for increases assistance for homeless individuals and families in the face of the coronavirus.
The Urban Institute released a special website cataloging their scholars’ response to policy moves as the pandemic continues.
Urban Institute’s Housing Matters blog looked at the effects of pausing evictions and how any moratorium must be connected with robust rental assistance.
The National Housing Law Project also released a Model Eviction Moratorium Act to serve as an example for jurisdictions working to stop evictions during the COVID-19 crisis.
Lone Star Legal Aid released a blog post on the relationship between Coronavirus isolation and domestic violence.
Healthdata.org released this set of projections of hospital resources based on COVID-19 fatalities. The data can be broken down by state.
A basic overview from the CDC for Healthcare facilities preparing to deal with COVID-19 with a focus on workforce notification and coordination with public agencies.
The first guidance issued for homeless service providers from the CDC. Includes checklists for screening, isolating, and coordinating with clients at shelters.
These are disinfectant guidelines for schools, community centers, public businesses, where there is a suspected case of COVID-19.
This set of resources includes information on preventing and managing the spread of infectious disease for people experiencing homelessness, in shelters, and encampments. It has guidelines for emergency hygiene practices, communicating with clients and public health agencies, guidelines for isolation and more.
Guidance for pre-outbreak and outbreak measures to be taken by shelter providers such as spacing sleeping mats, providing access to clean and stocked bathrooms.
Questions and Answers from HUD OHP for HUD or FDA-insured healthcare facilities.
This is a list of questions for COC’s and Public Health Authorities to work through how best to care for sheltered and unsheltered persons who exhibit coronavirus-like symptoms. Importantly it also contains questions to guide CoC’s and PH Authorities in providing care and information in ways that don’t trigger mental illness episodes.
This is a list of eligible activities under CDBG that can be used in infectious disease response. Includes things like constructing treatment facilities, provide short-term working capital assistance, meals on wheels and more.
This guidance for Health Authorities dealing with households living in shelters, in encampments, on the street, and in supportive housing.
Detailing activities that are eligible for Emergency Solutions Grants Program reimbursement. It covers things like cleaning supplies, cots, room dividers, transportation, and hiring additional staff. It also includes some guidance for planning and applying for these reimbursements.
This is a webinar covering the basics of COVID-19 and how best to put in place safety measures.
This Q&A with the Office of MFH Programs includes information on how the office is ensuring Fair Housing obligations will be met, property managers’ options for isolating or utilizing vacant unites for quarantine, disinfecting common spaces and more. Very important!
Details what the FHA is doing with regard to FHA single family loans.
Details the temporary partial waiver of servicing requirements regarding face-to-face contact with borrowers.
Agency guidelines on telework and HR for HUD satellite offices.
Describing recommendations to PHA’s regarding HCV, PBV, and Native American Programs. Lists things such as postponing unit inspections, adjusting income guidelines and family shares of rent, and the use of capital, operation, and administrative funds.
Guidance for Section 184 and 184A lenders and services regarding foreclosure and eviction moratoriums related to Presidentially Declared National Emergency.
Office of Multifamily Housing Stakeholders COVID-19 Q&A
A list of resources from HUD and the CDC.
A recording of the USICH/HUD Webinar on COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Lessons Learned in Seattle and King County is available online.
State and Local News
The Arizona state emergency management director stepped down late last week. Her resignation letter criticized moves by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, saying that his moves to put the Arizona Department of Health Services Director in charge of the state’s efforts made her functions “duplicative.”
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey also announced a new $5 million rental assistance program to assist low income renters during the pandemic.
Arkansas will be freeing up $5 million in Homelessness initiatives as part of an initiative to address the COVID-19 crisis by Governor Asa Hutchinson
Although President Trump quickly granted California Governor Gavin Newsom’s request for a major disaster declaration on Monday, the Administration left out a large amount of individual aid programs.
The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to worsen California’s already extreme shortage of affordable housing.
CalMatters took a look at the five biggest housing-related challenges for the state during the pandemic.
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide eviction ban for renters affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Homeless service providers and government officials are scrambling to house the homeless as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens in the state.
Orange County is currently converting a disused juvenile detention center to host beds for homeless individuals that are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19.
Bay Area authorities are working to quickly get individuals experiencing homelessness off the street – moving some 2,000 people in its shelters to new locations throughout the city.
The San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing advised homeless shelters in the city to not accept new residents. It additionally sent out instructions for social distancing, but told providers not to implement them until notified by the agency.
The City of Santa Fey will be using city and county funds to rent hotel rooms for some of the most at-risk members of its homeless population
Colorado Coalition for the Homeless is implementing COVID-19 testing at one of its health centers in Denver.
An individual experiencing homelessness was reported as positive for COVID-19 in New Haven. The individual was ordered to be quarantined in the diagnosing hospital but left the building against hospital guidance. Police found the man after subsequently detaining a different individual experiencing homelessness by mistake. He is currently being held under police guard somewhere in Milford, Connecticut.
The Delaware State Housing Authority is offering eligible households up to $1,500 in direct housing assistance payments through the Delaware Housing Assistance Program. Applications are available here.
Homeless shelter providers in Wilmington are urging officials to provide additional assistance to the area’s homeless shelters and service providers.
The City of Chicago will be partnering with five hotels to house quarantined and isolated individuals diagnosed with COVID-19.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a new partnership with the YMCA and five Chicago hotels to house healthcare workers, people awaiting COVID-19 test results, and residents experiencing homelessness.
Homeless services organizations in Iowa are asking for public donations to assist them in setting up temporary homes for individuals currently residing in their shelters.
The Northern Kentucky Convention Center has opened its doors to serve as a social isolation homeless shelter.
New Orleans officials are finalizing plans to move individuals experiencing homelessness out of encampments and into a downtown hotel. Many of the individuals are residents of encampments targeted by city officials for cleaning operations in which multiple residents lost all their belongings
Some landlords in Maine have argued that they should be allowed to restrict guests to rental units, advocates have argued that both renters and landlords should work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young released an emergency response plan to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus’ effect on individuals experiencing homelessness.
Service providers will still be allowed to provide food and shelter to people in need under Michigan’s stay at home order. Many organizations in the state are scrambling to deal with the spread of COVID-19.
An employee of a transitional housing program for formerly homeless individuals tested positive for COVID-19. Six staff members are now self-quarantining.
Two people in Detroit’s homeless shelter system have tested positive for COVID-19. They are being separated with 27 others at a new facility created for social isolation.
Montana Governor Steve Bullock issued a stay home order for the state. The order does not exempt individuals experiencing homelessness – directing them to shelters.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced an emergency directive placing a moratorium on evictions in that state.
Washoe County Nevada has confirmed its first positive coronavirus test for a member of the homeless community.
A Las Vegas parking lot has been turned into a temporary shelter for hundreds of people experiencing homelessness after a man staying at a brick-and-mortar shelter tested positive for coronavirus.
New York was granted a major disaster declaration this week by President Trump. However, FEMA has not yet responded to questions regarding whether individual assistance or disaster unemployment programs will be offered.
An Albany Housing Authority employee tested positive for COVID-19 the public housing property where the employee resided is now under quarantine.
An op-ed in City Limits by Judi Kende of DHRC-member Enterprise Community Partners, calls for New York to quickly move to create a housing voucher system to combat homelessness.
New York City
Residents at NYC homeless shelters are becoming concerned about the cleanliness of shelters in the city, worrying that the lack of sanitation may spread the virus.
With up to 20 individuals living in the same room, residents of NYC’s congregate shelters face a high risk of infection.
In the meantime, the City of New York is posting notices to homeless encampments warning of them to vacate the premises or lose their belongings. The CDC directly advises against such “street sweeps” during the pandemic.
Ohio is newly under a “stay-at-home” order – which exempts individuals experiencing homelessness. However, many shelters in the state do not have the funding to deal with the capacity nor additional requirements to ensure shelters do not become vehicles for transmitting the virus.
An apparent positive case of coronavirus in Toledo has public housing residents on edge. Residents of the building in question have been asked to quarantine.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said that the statewide “stay home” order applies to people without homes. It is unclear to what extent police will enforce the rule amongst the homeless population. Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s office said that it would “discourage” police departments from punishing homeless individuals for violating the order but did not prohibit it.
The iconic Jupiter Hotel in Portland will be housing individuals experiencing homelessness that show COVID-19 symptoms.
President Trump approved a major disaster declaration for Washington State unlocking additional resources for Coronavirus response.
Washington’s Department of Commerce is dispensing emergency housing grants to each county in the state. Each county will receive at least $250,000.
Kitsap County in Washington will be opening two additional facilities to assist individuals experiencing homelessness that tested positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting results. One of the centers will be designated for families.
The Utah Economic Response Task Force released a health and economic recovery plan that includes loan and mortgage freezes