CDC Issues Eviction Moratorium Order

On September 1, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an eviction moratorium order that is in effect from September 4, 2020 to December 31, 2020. The temporary moratorium on evictions extends vital protections to tens of millions of renters at risk of eviction for nonpayment of rent during the global pandemic. The order applies to eligible renters in all jurisdictions, except where local state, local, or tribal areas have an eviction moratorium that provides greater protection. To be protected, a renter must submit a signed declaration to their landlord. The CDC has provided a model declaration form.

Since back rent will be due after the moratorium expires, The Arc will continue to advocate for needed rental assistance to protect renters and landlords who rely on rental income to maintain and operate their properties. For more information, go here and here.

Congressional Negotiations Stall on Next COVID Package; Trump Issues Proposals

With stimulus talks stalled, President Trump issued executive actions over the weekend to provide relief to Americans affected by the pandemic. The President proposed the following relief measures:

  • Unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Up to $400 additional weekly federal UI benefit. States would be required to pay for 25% of the benefit.
  • Eviction moratorium. The order includes no new resources to assist renters and only directs federal agencies to “review all existing authorities and resources” and consider measures that are “reasonably necessary to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.” It does not extend the limited federal eviction moratorium that expired on July 24.
  • Payroll tax. The measure proposes to defer the portion of payroll taxes paid by employees for some low-wage workers from September 1 to the end of the year. There is no provision made to reimbursing the Social Security and Medicare trust funds for these losses and the taxes would need to be paid back after 2020. This measure would not help the unemployed and will hurt the finances of Social Security and Medicare, which are already under fiscal strain.
  • Student loans. The President’s memorandum directs the Education Department to extend by three months the student loan relief granted in previous COVID relief legislation until the end of the year. Student loan payments are presently paused and interest is suspended on federally-held student loans until the end of September.

Numerous questions have been raised about the President’s authority to undertake such actions without Congressional approval.

HUD Issues Final Ruling Weakening Housing Discrimination Protections

On August 7, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued its final Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AAFH) Rule, called the “Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice.” This new final rule, which will become effective on September 8, 2020, will further weaken he AFFH obligations under the Fair Housing Act. See The Arc’s statement.

Eviction Moratorium Expires

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act eviction moratorium expired on July 24, allowing landlords to issue 30 days’ notice for tenants to vacate properties. Landlords who had been covered by the 120-day moratorium are no longer prohibited by federal law from serving eviction notices. Without immediate action, millions of people in America are at possible risk of eviction from their homes during the pandemic. Unfortunately, the Senate HEALS Act does not include an eviction moratorium for nonpayment of rent for the duration of the public health emergency, as proposed in the House-passed HEROES Act (H.R.6800) and Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act (H.R.7301). It also does not include the needed resources so that people can remain or achieve housing stability and have a better chance to stay safe and healthy.

Emergency Housing Protection Bill Passed in House

Last week, the House passed the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020 (H.R.7301). This bill includes the housing and homelessness resources approved by the House in the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, including $100 billion in emergency rental assistance; a national, uniform moratorium on evictions and foreclosures; $200 million for Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities; and additional needed resources to ensure housing stability. The Arc supports this bill.

Housing: Emergency Housing Protection Bill Introduced in House

On June 24, Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) introduced the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020 (H.R.7301). This bill includes the housing and homelessness resources approved by the House in the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, including $100 billion in emergency rental assistance; a national, uniform moratorium on evictions and foreclosures; $200 million for Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities; and additional needed resources to ensure housing stability.

Housing: House Committee Holds Hearing on COVID-19 and Evictions

On June 10, the House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance held a hearing titled, “The Rent Is Still Due: America’s Renters, COVID-19, and an Unprecedented Eviction Crisis.” Witnesses were Cashauna Hill, Executive Director, Louisiana Fair Housing Action Center; Mike Kingsella, Executive Director, Up for Growth; Ann Oliva, Visiting Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; and Jenny Schuetz, Fellow, The Brookings Institution. The hearing examined 13 bills including the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act (H.R.6820) and the HEROES Act (H.R. 6800). Visit the Committee website for more information or access video of the hearing.

Housing: Emergency Rental Assistance Bill Announced

On May 8, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Denny Heck (D-WA) announced the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act of 2020. The bill provides $100 billion in emergency rental assistance to help keep the lowest-income renters stably housed during the COVID-19 crisis. The Arc supports this legislation.

Housing: Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Comments Due Today

On January 14, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a proposed rule that erodes the protections of the Fair Housing Act. The proposed rule is a big step back from efforts to fight housing discrimination and segregation in the U.S. The proposed rule has many harmful changes and removes language requiring that steps to affirmatively further fair housing include expanding opportunities for people with disabilities to live in “the most integrated setting appropriate to the individual’s needs.” A comment template can be found here. Submit comments here by March 16. Learn more with this short explainer and at www.fightforhousingjustice.org/affh.

Housing: Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Comments Due March 16

On January 14, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a proposed rule that erodes the protections of the Fair Housing Act. The proposed rule is a big step back from efforts to fight housing discrimination and segregation in the U.S. The proposed rule has many harmful changes, and it removes language requiring that steps to affirmatively further fair housing include expanding opportunities for people with disabilities to live in “the most integrated setting appropriate to the individual’s needs.” A comment template can be found here. Submit comments here by March 16. Learn more with this short explainer and at www.fightforhousingjustice.org/affh.