Departments under the Biden Administration are using their tools to postpone some evictions. USDA, HUD, VA and FHFA extended their eviction deadlines to Sept. 30.
WASHINGTON – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) eviction moratorium expired Saturday after a Supreme Court ruling.
In light of that decision, however, the Biden-Harris Administration took some steps to protect some renters at risk of eviction.
At the President’s request, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) extended their foreclosure-related eviction moratoria until Sept. 30, 2021. They announced the change in a joint statement.
The agencies said Biden asked them to “explore all available tools to keep American safe and housed.”
The tools at their disposal include nearly 20 programs, financial incentives, tax credits, loans and guarantees the federal government provides owners and operators of rental housing.
It’s unclear, however, how many renters it might affect.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta tried to estimate impacts and says that the CARES Act moratorium covered “between 28.1% and 45.6% of occupied rental units nationally.” The wide range comes from a “lack of a state- or regional-level breakdown results” based on the “unavailability and often fragmented nature of data on the nation’s rental stock.”
Beyond programs that force landlords to hold off on evicting tenants, the secretaries of the departments said they, “want to make clear that the owners and operators of this housing should make every effort to access Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) resources to avoid evicting a tenant for non-payment of rent. These resources are available in every state, and many counties and cities are also running local programs.”
The ERA programs are offering a total of $46.5 billion in rental aid, funded through two separate pandemic-aid bills passed in 2020 and 2021.
The joint announcement offered broad initiatives by each of the departments:
- Treasury: HUD is providing technical assistance to HUD grantees and working with public housing authorities, private landlords and tribal communities to ensure that households and landlords participating in HUD’s federally-subsidized programs know the process for obtaining ERA.
- USDA: Within the USDA Multi-Family portfolio, about 65,000 tenants do not receive rental assistance. In July, USDA sent letters to those tenants that included information on how to apply for the ERA program. USDA amplified the ERA program to over 250,000 online subscribers and rural leaders, and it told the Farm Service Agency and Rural Development State Offices to share hard copy materials with rural residents.
- VA: In addition to direct and indirect steps to help veterans, VA offers a one-stop website to inform veterans about federal programs and resources if they’re facing housing instability.
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