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The rent is due and many lose extra help



But the rent is still due. For people relying on those protections, this month may mark the start of new challenges.

“Emergency rental assistance should be a priority,” said Priscilla Almodovar, CEO of Enterprise Community Partners, a national non-profit affordable housing developer. “It’s a key factor in avoiding evictions that mean homeless people.”

According to a report by the Covid-19 Evidence Defense Project and the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program, there is a risk of homelessness, as moratoriums expire in jurisdictions around the world. the country. One in tenants is at risk of eviction from the fall, by undocumented people, people of color and the most vulnerable low-income renters, according to the report.

“I expect we will see a lot of families push right for homeless people as we begin the school year, which is already fraught with complications,” said Erin O. Planalp, an Iowa Legal Aid management attorney. “But I hope we can build on our connections in the community and partner with owners to try to give people a little more time.”

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For people who can’t pay rent this month, the good news is that there may be more rent relief resources available than when the pandemic started.

Find out what protections you have

If you are unable to pay your rent, talk to your landlord. Most agree to take down payments or set up a payment plan. But if you still can’t make a rent, you want to know what protections you have to prevent eviction.

Eviction moratoriums, which are stoppages on landowners or filing or carrying out the removal of a tenant, have been put in place to protect tenants from losing their home during the health crisis. But they were rising and shrinking. There have been moratoriums at the federal or local levels, for different types of housing and for various amounts of time.

The largest federal eviction ban expired on July 24. Included in the Coronavirus Assistance, Aid and Economic Security (CARES) Act and known as the CARES Act eviction moratorium, it has protected tenants in federally subsidized or federally supported housing from being evicted. evicted for non-payment. of rent. This was a narrow protection covering only one in four rental homes, according to the Urban Institute, but if you’re in that category it has at least one protection.
But two other protections are still in place. The FHA, VA, and USDA have extended eviction protection in some situations to single-family homeowners until Aug. 31. Separately, if your landlord can find a CARES mortgage relief on the home you rent, then you can be protected from eviction for a longer period. .

At this point, tenants are more likely to be protected by a local moratorium, which may be extended or remain in place.

Such protections are based on where you live. For example, in New York State the governor extended the eviction moratorium until August 20. In Washington, the moratorium on eviction was extended through Oct. 15 and in Massachusetts through Oct. 17. You can check the status in your state in the Eviction Laboratory.
Or your protection may come from the type of housing you have. The Philadelphia Housing Authority has announced that it will extend a eviction moratorium for non-payment of rent by March 15, 2021. This action is an effort to ensure that 80,000 low-income residents of The authorities, who have been “disproportionately affected by the virus,” will be able to maintain housing stability during this time of economic uncertainty, according to Kelvin A. Jeremiah, president of the PHA.

But no matter what moratorium eviction protection you may be under, the rent will not be forgiven. Unpaid rent is still due and will still need to be paid eventually to avoid eviction.

Reaches to find relief funds

The CARES Act has allocated money to states and communities for use for rent relief. But legal aid workers are connected between tenants who need the money.

For anyone who has not been surveyed on rent, it is difficult to understand how difficult it is to live in a constant state of emergency, Planalp said. “There’s this fight or flight response. Taking steps to figure it out for you and your family is so difficult.”

The National Coalition for Low-cost Housing estimates at least $ 100 billion in emergency rental assistance that will be needed due to the pandemic, and lists the relief available. Some states have set up their own web portals for rental assistance. If you are a resident of Iowa or Arizona, for example, you can answer a few questions to determine your eligibility for help.

“There’s a lot of funding out there,” Planalp said. “But there are several programs and each program has its own criteria.”

Still, much of this relief funding leaves people out, she said. Tenants who are undocumented or without legal status are not eligible for the CARES Act exemption.

Further information on local housing relief resources can be found through the Department of Housing and Urban Development and a list from state to non-profit aid organizations can be found at Just Shelter.

“The help is there,” Planalp said. “We’ve got to catch people with the right program and give them enough time to apply so they can get the help they need before they lose their home.”


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