Evictions Moratorium Extended to July 31st
Last week the Biden Administration once again extended the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s moratorium on housing evictions from the end of June. The new expiration date is July 31st, 2021. The administration has made clear, however, that there will not be another extension on the moratorium. Instead, officials have been tasked with using this final month to ensure that federal monies designated for housing relief get out the door.
Nearly $47 billion is available to state and local governments to provide emergency housing relief. Much of that sum is tied up in bureaucratic “logjams,” though. A recent Census Bureau survey found that 351,000 Pennsylvanians are confident they will not make their next rent payment. Officials must act to ensure these individuals and families get the support they need.
Spotlight PA reported that in the initial round of housing relief, two-thirds of the $150 million was instead used to shore up state budget shortfalls, rather than going to people in need. The second round of funding, with $584 million available, is moving too slow. As of the end of April only 3% had been allocated under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
Some local efforts have seen greater success in bringing down eviction rates. In Philadelphia, new legislation has seen evictions drop to historic lows. All property owners are required to apply for rental assistance on behalf of a tenant, wait 45 days, and be offered mediation before filing for eviction. The city has since taken another step, moving to prohibit landlords from rejecting a person solely based on low credit scores or past evictions. Read more here.
The CDC announcement of the extension of the federal eviction moratorium was timed with the release of the The Biden-Harris Administration’s Initiatives to Promote Housing Stability By Supporting Vulnerable Tenants and Preventing Foreclosures.
Also updated was the FAQ/Guidance for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and the Treasury ERAP Fact Sheet. The additional clarification outlined include:
- Strongly encourage partnerships with courts to actively prevent evictions and develop eviction diversion programs
- Help families experiencing homelessness gain access to assistance
- Drive towards equal access by removing language and cultural barriers in securing emergency rental assistance
- Provide a streamlined payment option for utility providers and large landlords to make accessing emergency rental assistance on behalf of multiple tenants easier and more attractive
- Encourage grantee coordination to reduce the burdens, and delays in providing assistance created by differences in locally-imposed requirements among programs operating in the same regions
- Lifting up grantees implementing effective practices to ensure that assistance quickly reaches the renters who need it most
For the most recent version of the CDC Tenant Declaration forms in various languages, visit the CDC webpage on Temporary Halt in Residential Eviction.
For the most recent information on federal guidance for ERAP, please visit the US Treasury ERAP webpage.
For the most recent information in the Pennsylvania State ERAP programs, please visits the PA Dept. of Human Services webpage on Emergency Rental Assistance.