The Power is Now

HUD Issues New Protections for Tenants Facing COVID-Related Eviction

Homeownership Program

No doubt that the eviction moratorium that was issued in September 2020 has provided critical help in protecting many vulnerable people in the country who would otherwise be homeless if the evictions proceeded. Still, evidence suggests that were it not for the moratoriums and bans on evictions, the spread of the Covid-19 virus would have been far much worse. Data proves that there is a strong connection between stable housing and the resident’s health.

Before the ban on eviction due to covid-19, the evictions forced housed families to find shelter with very limited options. For instance, a 2017 survey by the American Housing Survey shows that one in three households reported that they would move with a family member or friend in the event of an eviction. There is a risk of doing this. When families double up, they put both households at risk of not just contracting the virus, but also unauthorized occupant evictions. But, let’s face the reality, many families do not have people to double up with and therefore they end up on the streets which risk is facing so many people now that the bans were lifted.

Although this may be a possibility, I am glad that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was swift enough to take measures to prevent the eviction of tenants facing the action for non-payment of rent from HUD-subsidized public housing and some certain properties with projects based rental assistance. Under the rule published by HUD, landlords must offer a 30-day notice period that should also include information about the available federal emergency rental assistance.

The rule comes as a confirmation of HUD’s renewed commitment of keeping people housed as long as there is COVID-19. The Biden administration is working extremely hard to make sure that both landlords and renters are getting the necessary aid that they require and also ensure that the available support quickly reaches families that are in need and that are most at risk.

This rule (interim rule) provides that when there is a national emergency for instance the pandemic and federal money is allocated to help tenants facing the evictions for nonpayment of rent, the Department’s secretary can;

  • Expand the notice a covered landlord must give before such a tenant must vacate a unit from 14 days to 30 days;
  • Require landlords to provide information to the tenant regarding federal emergency rental relief along with the eviction notice; and
  • Require landlords to provide notice to all tenants in public housing of the availability of emergency rental assistance.

“For many months, our Department has worked with landlords and owners who do business with HUD to ensure they access the Emergency Rental Assistance Program and do everything they can to keep people housed,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “This rule is a significant step in raising tenant awareness about the availability of funds that can assist them with past due rent and allowing them additional time to access relief that may stave off eviction entirely. HUD will continue to review additional actions to help protect individuals through the duration of the pandemic.”

And I think this is brilliant and so many people stand a second chance. A missed payment doesn’t mean that you have to end up on the street! Going back before the pandemic, evidence suggests that many households who enter emergency shelters or even experience unsheltered homelessness do so only after the eviction. Indeed so that a study across the 12 US cities showed that nearly half of families entering emergency shelters had experienced an eviction or had a problem with their landlord. Another survey conducted on tenants facing eviction in Seattle showed that 38 percent of the evicted renters ultimately ended up unsheltered. Additionally, 25 percent moved into a shelter or transition housing.

With these facts, I am wondering, what could have the millions of families susceptible to this eviction done? And it doesn’t matter where they end up, whether doubling up or moving into a new shelter, the new living arrangements don’t rid the fact that they are more exposed to Covid-19 transmission.

What this new rule by HUD does is that it builds on the work HUD is doing to ensure that there is enough and standby support reaching families the department serves. Some of the steps HUD has taken to prevent eviction and inform communities of their responsibilities and rights include:

  • Streamlined requirements to allow HUD-assisted households to quickly recertify their income if they have experienced a drop in income, ensuring that their housing remains stable;
  • Released extensive eviction prevention resources for public housing authorities, Tribes, and Tribally-Designated Housing Entities that highlight best practices to keep families housed and answer frequently asked questions;
  • Issued guidance through HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity to protect against selective evictions aimed at protected classes, such as race and national origin in violation of the Fair Housing Act. This guidance also explains that the Act requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities, including exceptions or modifications to eviction policies and procedures that may be necessary because of tenants’ disabilities. HUD allocated $19.4 million to provide support to fair housing enforcement organizations to respond to fair housing inquiries and complaints related to the pandemic;
  • Released an inaugural Eviction Protection Grant Program that will fund $20 million for eviction protection and diversion services for low-income tenants at risk of or subject to eviction; and
  • Supported HUD grantees and stakeholders to ensure the best use of the various relief resources, including the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, and HUD’s various Native American housing programs to prevent evictions and homelessness.

About The Power Is Now Media

The Power Is Now Media is an online multimedia company founded in 2009 by Eric L. Frazier, MBA, headquartered in Riverside, California. We advocate for homeownership, wealth building, and financial literacy for low to moderate-income and minority communities.  The Power Is Now Media corporate office is located at 3739 6th Street Riverside, CA 92501. Ph: 800-401-8994 Website: www.thepowerisnow.com.

Sources:
https://www.hud.gov/press/press_releases_media_advisories/HUD_No_21_167
https://dsnews.com/daily-dose/10-06-2021/hud-issues-new-protections-to-tenants-facing-covid-related-eviction

Help/FAQ

featured

own shows