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Protecting Renter and Homeowner Rights During Our National Health Crisis

The National Housing Law Project has put together the following resources for attorneys, advocates, policymakers, and others for assistance during the COVID-19 national public health crisis.  We will continue to update this with NHLP resources and other resources as they become available. Please email us with any additional resources to post.

UPDATED 3/28/2020:
CARES Act Eviction Moratorium Summary The federal stimulus package in response to COVID-19 (The CARES Act) was passed on March 27. The bill includes a moratorium on some residential evictions. This memo is a summary of those eviction protections.

NHLP’s Call for a Moratorium on All Residential Evictions

  • Every jurisdiction should have a moratorium on residential evictions that covers every type of eviction case and applies to every stage of eviction proceedings, from the service of notices all the way through the physical eviction.
  • A moratorium should clearly state that it applies to unlawful detainer actions and any other types of eviction cases the jurisdiction has.
  • The moratorium should remain in effect throughout the social distancing period and beyond to enable people to apply for and obtain any kind of relief funds that may be forthcoming and work out payment plans and make other appropriate arrangements.
  • The moratorium should also suspend or prohibit landlords from charging fees for late rent, delinquency notices, and so forth.

National Housing Law Project Resources

Model state law moratorium to stop all five phases of the eviction process  (notices, initiation of new cases, processing of pending cases, entry of eviction writs, and physical evictions), along with provisions to restrain assessment of late charges, limit landlord access to premises during the pandemic, and allow for payment plans to avoid eviction after the moratorium period ends

COVID-19 Eviction Moratoria by State, Commonwealth and Territory Google spreadsheet documenting eviction and foreclosure moratoria throughout the U.S. at state level, including at judicial, legislative, and executive orders. Also includes information on utility shut off moratoria in some jurisdictions. Research is led by (HJN member) Emily Benfer, Visiting Associate Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Health Justice Advocacy Clinic at Columbia Law School, with pro bono research assistance from students at Columbia Law School, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and University of Pennsylvania Law School. NHLP consulted on design of research questions and spreadsheet categories.

Coronavirus Eviction Moratoria: Considerations and Best Practices This is a more detailed analysis from NHLP of considerations and best practices for federal, state, and local eviction moratoria.

Foreclosure Protections and Mortgage Payment Relief for Homeowners This is a summary of single-family mortgage provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and related federal actions.

NHLP Analysis of HUD’s Authority to Impose an Eviction Moratorium HUD has the plenary power to declare a moratorium on eviction for all of its programs for the duration of the emergency.

Letter to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from NHLP and National Low Income Housing Coalition Urging Immediate Tenant and Homeowner Protection NHLP and NLIHC have written to urge HUD to take immediate steps to protect tenants and homeowners during and after the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Letter to HUD on Protecting Seniors with Reverse Mortgages NHLP joined the National Consumer Law Center and other advocates in signing this letter to HUD demanding that it take additional steps to protect seniors with reverse mortgages during the pandemic.

Memo to HUD from NHLP, NLIHC, and National Alliance of HUD Tenants (NAHT) to Mandate Interim Recertifications NHLP, NLIHC, and NAHT sent this memo urging HUD to take immediate action to mandate and streamline interim recertifications, which HUD has the authority and funding to do.

Letter to Congress on Addressing the Needs of People Experiencing Homelessness NHLP signed onto this letter urging Congress, “As you negotiate a legislative spending package aimed at addressing the impact of the Coronavirus on public health and the economy, we, the undersigned organizations, urge you to include resources to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness and to help ensure housing stability for low-income individuals.”

Letter to USDA from NHLP, NLIHC and LeadingAge Regarding Eviction and Foreclosure Protection This joint letter urges USDA to take eviction and foreclosure and other actions to protect residents and homeowners from loss of their homes.

Letter to USDA from NHLP, NLIHC, and Housing Assistance Council Regarding Tenant Protections This joint letter urges USDA’s Rural Housing Service to take a more proactive approach for eviction protections for all RHS-assisted tenants in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

National Resources

Searchable National Database of Affordable Housing Landlords The National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Public and Affordable Housing Research Service maintain a National Housing Preservation Database website that lists projects participating in the following housing programs: Project-Based Section 8, HUD insured housing, Section 202, Low Income Housing Tax Credit, RD Section 515 and 538 rental housing, Public Housing, Section 236, HOME, and State Subsidies. It is searchable by program, property name, address, city, zip code and other criteria. It is an excellent way to find out whether a client lives in a federally assisted development. Registration is required but is easily obtainable.

Blog:  Tenant protection during the novel coronavirus outbreak This is “a running list of eviction moratoriums and other tenant protections, and advice for staying safe as a renter during the CoVid-19 epidemic.  Brought to you by Augrented, the first AI-driven apartment ratings service.”

National Low Income Housing Coalition’s website has some great resources on federal, state, and local information.

FHFA Suspends Foreclosures and Evictions for GSE-Backed Mortgages U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Coronavirus guidance. This webpage includes HUD offices’ FAQ about best practices for public housing authorities and owners.

HUD’s announcement of a 60-day moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for single-family properties with Federal Housing Administration insurance.  HUD’s notice to mortgage servicers of the same.

Information about USDA moratoriums can be found at https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus.  Go to “Frequently Asked Questions” for information about USDA loans.

USDA Rural Development announces 60 day moratorium on direct and guaranteed single family home loan foreclosures.

USDA Rural Development multi-family rental housing initial actions in response to COVID-19.

National Council of State Housing Agencies’ list of state housing finance agencies’ announcements/guidance. Energy Efficiency for All’s website tracking state and local housing policy responses to COVID-19. The tracking includes utility disconnection policies, eviction moratoria, and announced LIHTC policies.

The National Center for State Courts has the current status of state court closings.