Rent & Housing in the Time of Corona

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What’s On This Page

  • Today’s Updates
  • Evictions
  • Protections for People with Disabilities
  • Foreclosures
  • Help for Rent & Utilities
  • Finding New Housing
  • For HUD, USDA, Vouchers, or Public Housing
  • Affordable Housing Frequently Asked Questions
  • If You Do Not Want Your Landlord (or anyone) Entering Your Home

Today’s Updates (Updated May 6)

🧡 HUD has issued some new regs for people getting an extra $600 per month in unemployment. The extra money will NOT count as income for HUD. $600 Per Week in Unemployment.

🧡 Some Housing Authorities are aware of these new regs and some are not. If your Housing Authority tries to include this as income, you can show them the regulation: Questions and Answers for Multi-Family Housing (page 9) and Frequently asked questions for Housing Authorities in the time of coronavirus.

🧡 If the income did not get excluded: Letter if Housing Agency Did Not Exclude Your Pandemic Unemployment Pay

🧡 For People in HUD Housing or Housing Vouchers: Frequently asked questions for Housing Authorities in the time of coronavirus. Highlights:

  1. Smoke-free policies still in place. No exceptions.
  2. In many cases, protections from evictions if you can’t pay rent (you’ll still owe the rent later… make sure to report and request your rent to be lowered if your income has gone down)
  3. Stimulus checks don’t count as income
  4. Additional $600 per week in unemployment does not count as income (regular unemployment still counts)
  5. Housing agencies can place bans or limits on visitors (you can still request a disability accommodation if visitor is needed for disability care)
  6. More guidance for housing agencies on various COVID issues.

🧡  For anyone who is homebound or sheltering in place: Food. Rent. Internet. Unemployment. Paid Leave. Student Loans. Grocery Delivery. Love. Bills. Online Doctors. What to Do During School Closings: Read All of Today’s Updates

Evictions 

🧡 Affordable Housing Online is our favorite site for finding low-income housing. They’ve published a new article on how protections from evictions are working in different parts of the country: Suspending evictions during Corona Crisis.

🧡 Pandemics are a sucky time to be homeless. Here’s a list of Cities & States That Won’t Allow Evictions Also check this one: Cities and States that have Paused Evictions.

🧡 If evictions are banned in your area, you will still owe the rent, but you can’t be evicted if you can’t pay right now.

Protections for People with Disabilities 

🧡 If someone in your home is disabled, in some circumstances, you may be able to request a disability accommodation to stop or prevent an eviction.

🧡 You can also request accommodations to help resolve other housing issues, such as parking, guests, assistance animals, leases, and paperwork: Sample Disability Accommodation Letters for Housing

Foreclosures

🧡 Forbes is maintaining a Mortgage Relief Tracker with information on help for homeowners.

🧡 Some homeowners are now protected from foreclosures for 60 days. Learn more Foreclosures and Coronavirus

Rent & Utilities

🧡 Some areas are making it faster and easier to apply for help with utility bills. Check your local social services department or Liheap program. Here’s an example of changes from Seattle

🧡 If you can’t pay your utility bills, many utilities are also suspending shut offs.

🧡 Nicole from Low Income Relief shared a great letter for Asking Your Landlord to Lower Your Rent.

🧡 If you dial 2-1-1 on your phone an ask if there are any local programs offering housing or rent assistance in your area. You can also look here: http://211.org

🧡 For HUD housing and Section 8, see notes below about lowering your rent.

Finding New Housing

🧡 If you are in a pinch: How Can I Get Emergency or Immediate Housing?

🧡 Plans are in the works to start offering more emergency housing options to people in need. Including funding for hotels, motels, and dormitory. Here’s some examples of plans in North Carolina

For HUD, USDA, Vouchers, or Public Housing

🧡 HUD has issued some new regs for people getting an extra $600 per month in unemployment. The extra money will NOT count as income for HUD. $600 Per Week in Unemployment.

🧡 Some Housing Authorities are aware of these new regs and some are not. If your Housing Authority tries to include this as income, you can show them the regulation: Questions and Answers for Multi-Family Housing (page 9) and Frequently asked questions for Housing Authorities

🧡 If you lose income during Coronavirus, here’s how you can Lower Your Rent if Your Income Drops

🧡 If you have problems, you can also try this: Letter if Your Income Lowers and Your Housing Worker Refuses to Lower Rent

🧡 Even if your income stays the same, there are a lot of other Policies that can Lower Your Rent.

🧡 If you have no income: Read This if You Have No Income

🧡 Some public housing authorities have announced that they are suspending all evictions and terminations.

🧡 Report from readers that some Housing Authority are doing move-in inspections by Facetime or self-certification. If you need an inspection, you can try advocating for this.

🧡 If you don’t live in subsidized housing, but you still have dreams of a someday future: Section 8 Guide for the Disabled and Plucky

🧡 Changes to HUD policies that might benefit tenants in HUD housing, Public Housing and Housing Vouchers: New Policies. Highlights of the most helpful parts: HUD Covid PoliciesSee below for more updates and changes to low income housing.

🧡 For housing vouchers: Readers are reporting having trouble moving in (or using their voucher at all) because no one at local Housing Authority will return their calls. We don’t know the answer to this. Try calling everywhere and requesting help getting a call returned. Where to Get Housing Help

🧡 HUD is not processing terminations. You cannot lose your voucher right now, even if your Housing Authority won’t return your calls. If voucher deadline is coming soon, you may wish to send some emails so there is a written record you are trying to get in touch.

Affordable Housing Frequently Asked Questions

🧡 Here’s where you can find answers to Affordable housing frequently asked questions:

  • Are housing authorities still open during the coronavirus outbreak?
  • Do I have to do anything if I’m on a rental subsidy program and become unemployed or lose hours from coronavirus?
  • Are housing authority voucher ports still happening during the coronavirus outbreak?
  • Are housing authority inspections still happening while the coronavirus crisis continues?
  • Are Section 8 vouchers being issued by housing authorities in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic?
  • If I rent with a Section 8 voucher and someone in my home or building tests positive for coronavirus, can I live somewhere else?
  • If I don’t pay my rent during a pandemic eviction moratorium, will I owe the rent when the coronavirus pandemic is over?

If You Do Not Want Your Landlord (or anyone) Entering Your Home

If you do not want people in your home during this coronavirus outbreak, there are a couple of options for how to handle it:

  1. Tell your landlord about your concerns. Hopefully they will agree not to come to your home.
  2. If your state has declared an emergency declaration, here is what Vermont Legal Help Advises: “We advise that showing an occupied home during the state of emergency is operating a close-contact business in violation of the governor’s emergency declaration. You can deny entry and call the police to tell them what is happening. It is this kind of close contact that presents a risk of spreading infection.”
  3. If someone in your home has a disability or chronic health issue, you can make a disability accommodation request. Send a letter to your landlord to ask them not to come to your home during this public health crisis. Sample letters.
  4. Normally, the landlord needs to give 48 hours notice before coming to your home. Check local laws in your area. Here’s an example from Vermont: landlord access law.

– Adapted from the Vermont Legal Help Website

 

New Laws

🧡  Democrats have published this helpful Q & A About the New Coronavirus Relief Laws. Includes information on: Utility shutoffs and Housing

What in the World is Going On:

For anyone who is homebound or sheltering in place: Food. Rent. Internet. Unemployment. Paid Leave. Student Loans. Grocery Delivery. Love. Bills. Online Doctors. What to Do During School Closings: Read All of Today’s Updates

For more updates, you can also join our Facebook PagePlease comment below if you discover new information from reliable sources.

Remember ME

This blog was created by people with ME/CFS (Sometimes called “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”).

Being homebound is nothing new to us. Many of us have been homebound or bedridden for five, or ten, or twenty years.

There is now a great deal of support, understanding, and help available to people staying home during Coronavirus, but none of this was available to us all these years, and when Coronavirus is over, it may go away again.

As you go about your day, please take a moment to think about your homebound friends. You may be able to go back out someday, but we may never be able to.

💗💗💗,

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