On Tuesday, September 1, the Centers for Disease Control an unprecedented action and issued a national moratorium on most evictions for nonpayment of rent. The moratorium takes effect September 4th, 2020. The CDC declared the moratorium to ensure that renters can practice social distancing and remain in compliance with stay at home orders in their states during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Prior to this action, many state level moratoriums were about to expire.
Please note, the moratorium does not cancel or cover back rent, utilities or fees. It also does not provide emergency assistance for housing. The moratorium only postpones evictions.
A few details about the action; to be covered under the moratorium:
- Renters must sign and provide to their landlord a declaration stating they have used their best efforts to obtain rental assistance.
- Tenants cannot earn no more $99,000 in 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing jointly), was not required to report income in 2019 to the IRS or have received an Economic Impact Payment under the CARES Act.
- Tenants must be unable to pay full rent or make a full rent payment due to loss of income, work hours or medical costs, and must be trying to make partial rent payments.
- Tenants would be at risk of an eviction would face homelessness or forced to join other households.
The moratorium goes through December 31, 2020.
You may find the eviction moratorium form to submit to landlords here: https://www.hsgcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/declaration-form.pdf
This action may help some tenants; however, it does not go far enough. Congress must act and pass legislation that provides robust stimulus funding for Covid-19 relief for homeowners, tenants, communities and those at risk or experiencing homelessness. This summer, NHRC worked closely with the House and Senate to introduce legislation to provide funding for housing counseling during the pandemic. The Heroes Act, which passed the House, provides $100 million for housing counseling services. The Coronavirus Housing Counseling Improvement Act, introduced by Senators Menendez and Brown, would provide $700 million for NeighborWorks to support housing counseling services. Senator Kamala Harris introduced a similar bill, S. 4519, to provide funding for eviction and mortgage foreclosure mitigation assistance to States and communities with high rates of defaults, evictions and foreclosures.
- Reach out to your Senators (esp. Republican Senators): Ask them to support housing counseling funding in any stimulus package. People are talking about the program! If your member sits on the Senate Banking or Appropriations Committees, this is critical. We want them to know about your work and its value and vote yes on the bill when its being debated in committee and/or when it hits the Senate Floor.
- Tell them what you are hearing from renters and homeowners in your communities and why housing counselors are vital to the overall economic security and post-Covid recovery in your state.
- Provide them with data on how many people you are helping during this time and show them evidence of how you are directly helping constituents.
If you need any assistance with advocacy talking points or reaching an office, please email Melody at firstname.lastname@example.org.