Reminder – Assisted Housing Residents are Eligible for Emergency Aid
On August 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issued a targeted moratorium on evictions through October 3, 2021, for counties experiencing “heightened levels of community transmission.” The order is intended to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including the rise in the Delta variant. The previous moratorium expired on July 31, 2021.
The CDC order applies to counties that enter “substantial or high levels of community transmission” after August 3, 2021. Once a county no longer experiences this level for 14 consecutive days, the order will no longer apply unless such levels return. The order does not relieve individuals of their obligations to pay rent or comply with lease terms, nor does it preclude evictions for other violations of the lease. Those eligible for protection under this order are not required to file a new Declaration with their landlords if they meet the definition of “covered person.”
Covered persons are tenants who declare to their landlords that they have made every effort to obtain government assistance for rent or housing and have earned no more than $99,000 (or $198,000 if filing jointly) in 2020 or expect to earn no more in 2021. They must also experience a loss of income, make efforts to pay partial rent, be rendered homeless by eviction, and reside in a county that has substandard or high rates of COVID as defined by the CDC.
In remarks from the White House, President Biden commented that the Delta variant accounts for over 80 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the United States and that the order would cover “close to 90 percent” of renters. The President also noted that even if the order is challenged in court, it allows time for the over $45 billion that has been provided in federal rental assistance to be distributed to eligible renters by states and other grantees to help those behind on their rent.
Additional information about the U. S. Treasury Department’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program can be found here. Importantly, Treasury Department guidance states that federally subsidized households may receive ERA assistance for the tenant-owed portion of rent or utilities that is not subsidized.