Housing Rights of Transgender People in Connecticut

Connecticut Protects Housing Rights of Transgender Individuals (No Matter What the Federal Government Says)

Last week, the Trump Administration proposed a rule that would allow homeless shelter providers to discriminate against transgender individuals by allowing shelters to refuse to provide shelter in same-sex shelters in accordance with a person’s gender identity. This proposed rule would overturn Obama-era guidance that directed shelter providers to do the opposite.

Despite the Trump Administration’s continued assault on transgender individuals in health, education, employment, and housing, transgender individuals retain protected class status in Connecticut.

Since 2011, Connecticut has been one of few states in the nation that protects the civil rights of transgender individuals by prohibiting discrimination in housing. Connecticut’s anti-discrimination protections expressly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

Discrimination against transgender individuals can take many forms, and may include housing providers asking intrusive and unnecessary questions about body parts or surgeries, shelter providers insisting that a transgender person accept shelter in a facility that does not correspond with the individual’s gender identity, and housing providers’ refusal to use a transgender individual’s correct name or pronouns. Housing discrimination against transgender applicants can also include more subtle “discrimination with a smile” that may be harder to detect, such as quoting a higher rental amount or charging a larger security deposit, showing fewer or less desirable apartments, or misrepresenting the availability of an apartment.

Under Connecticut law, homeless shelters in the state are required to provide housing to individuals seeking shelter that corresponds to their gender identity, regardless of sex assigned at birth. For example, all women, whether transgender or cisgender, must be allowed into women’s shelters. These laws help protect the dignity and safety of transgender individuals in housing.

Despite the 2011 law, housing providers—including homeless shelters—have continued to discriminate based on gender identity and expression. A 2015 investigation performed by the Connecticut Fair Housing Center revealed discrimination based on gender identity or expression in 100% of the test cases.

The Connecticut Fair Housing Center subsequently provided fair housing training to staff of the homeless shelter system in Connecticut, which has led to a reduction in discrimination in subsequent investigations.

There is a real chance that the Trump Administration’s proposed rule will cause confusion in Connecticut and lead to increased discrimination against transgender individuals as they seek shelter in the state. All housing providers, including homeless shelters, must understand that in Connecticut, the law remains unchanged: Connecticut prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and expression and prohibits shelters from refusing to provide shelter in accordance with a person’s gender identity.

People who believe they have experienced discrimination can report the discrimination to the Connecticut Fair Housing Center by calling (860) 247-4400 or sending an email to info@ctfairhousing.org.


Fair Housing COVID-19 Response 6.30.20

ADDRESSING CLIENTS’ NEEDS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

June 30, 2020

Eviction moratorium extended:  Executive Order 7DDD issued by Governor Lamont, includes several changes from the press release issued on June 29, 2020. Executive Order 7DDD, states the following:

  • The eviction moratorium has been extended until August 22, 2020 not August 25.
  • A landlord is permitted to send a Notice to Quit for nonpayment of rent before August 22 but only if the period of nonpayment of rent was prior to February 29, 2020. No Notices to Quit for nonpayment of rent can be sent for the period March 1 – August 22, 2020 until after August 22, 2020.
  • Landlords cannot file a summary process complaint in court until after August 22, 2020.
  • If a tenant paid more than 1-month security deposit and the tenant has not used the security deposit to pay rent, the tenant may ask their landlords to use one month of their security deposit to pay rent.
  • Tenants are still required to pay rent for the months of March, April, May, June, July, and August.

Legislative Housing Committee Information hearing: The Connecticut Legislature’s Housing Committee held an informational hearing with Department of Housing Commissioner Seila Mosquera Bruno on Monday, June 29. Representative Brendan McGee asked the Commissioner about the Center’s letter to Governor Lamont regarding the segregation that will likely occur if the proposed rent relief program is not fully funded. To see the hearing, click here. Representative McGee’s questions to Commissioner Mosquera Bruno begin at minute 52.

Exclusionary Zoning in Connecticut:  In response to the many recent calls to end systemic racism, there have been several efforts to address the exclusionary zoning policies that have kept Connecticut so segregated. The Connecticut Mirror writes that Connecticut has the opportunity to address housing segregation but appears to be unwilling to move forward. The Partnership for Strong Communities hosted a training on exclusionary zoning for more than 200 people at which the Center’s staff reviewed the history of exclusionary zoning in the Connecticut and the effect it has had on segregation. The training also included several suggestions about how to end exclusionary policies. To view the training, click here. Finally, a group of planners, municipal officials, fair housing advocates, and professors led by Sara Bronin have been holding a series of discussions on ways to address exclusionary zoning in Connecticut and are now hosting a website which can be found at www.desegregatect.org.

Creation of a temporary rental housing assistance program:  In addition, Governor Lamont announced the create of a $10 million rental assistance program for Connecticut residents unable to their rent because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The priority for these funds will be lower-income households who have been denied unemployment insurance followed by other lower-income households.  No details as to when the program will begin or how to apply for the program have been announced.

Mortgage relief for homeowners unable to pay their mortgage:  The State is making $10 million available to provide mortgage relief to homeowners unable to pay their mortgage because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will be administered by the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority. There has been no announcement regarding when the program will begin or how to apply.

Assistance for people who are undocumented:  The State is making $2.5 million available for rental assistance for people who do not qualify for the temporary rental housing assistance program because they do not have legal status. The program will be administered by the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants.  There has been no announcement regarding when the program will begin or how to apply.

For details on the programs designed to help people who are homeless get permanent housing as well as the programs that will provide eviction prevention counseling, read the press release referenced above.

Fair Housing COVID-19 Response 6.25.20

ADDRESSING CLIENTS’ NEEDS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

June 25, 2020

The State’s moratorium on evictions is set to expire on Tuesday, June 30 at midnight. This means that on Wednesday, July 1, landlords in Connecticut will once again be able to send Notices to Quit and to restart eviction cases that were in court on April 10 when the Governor issued the moratorium. Once Notices to Quit run out, landlords can start new eviction actions.

While the Judicial Branch is expanding its ability to hold hearings remotely, we do not yet know if this will extend to eviction actions. If you have an eviction case filed against you already, the Court may contact you to schedule a hearing. If you have questions about any communication from the Court regarding your eviction case, call Statewide Legal Services at (860) 344-0380.

If you receive a Notice to Quit and need legal assistance, call Statewide Legal Services at (860) 344-0380.

Check the Center’s website for updates on when and if the State will be providing rental assistance to people who cannot pay their rent as the result of COVID-19.

In addition, the Center’s website will include information regarding whether there is an extension of the eviction moratorium in Connecticut.

Important Deadline:  There is no extension for paying June rent. If you did not pay April rent, that is due in June also.

Call to Action:  Tenants in Connecticut are calling on Governor Lamont to stop all evictions indefinitely and cancel the obligation to pay rent. Connecticut leads the nation in income inequality, and this burden is disproportionately shouldered by Black and brown communities: nearly 60% of Black renters and 55% of Hispanic renters are cost-burdened compared to people who are white. For more information on tenants’ demands and to sign the petition, click here. To participate in the daily actions on Mondays and Wednesday, click here.

Public Official Outreach: Center staff continue to participate in Facebook Live, community Zoom meetings, and tele-townhalls with legislative officials. If you would like our assistance reaching your constituency, please contact our outreach coordinator shussian@ctfairhousing.org 

What happened since June 18, 2020:

  • Several cities and town have declared racism a public health emergency: At least 20 cities and three states across the country have declared racism a public health crisis. At the urging of State Senator Saud Anwar, Windsor was the first to act in Connecticut followed by Hartford, Bloomfield, and West Hartford. Health advocates around the state are now urging Governor Lamont to follow suit. For more information on what declaring racism a public health emergency means, click here.
  • Senate Democrats seek to expand agenda for Special Session: Connecticut’s Senate Democrats want to expand the issues which will be discussed if a Special Session of the Legislature is called to include not only police accountability issues and absentee ballots, but issues which people may not have been comfortable confronting before. Included in the Senators’ list is exclusionary zoning, a primary cause of segregation in Connecticut. For more on the Senate Democrats’ demands, click here.
  • Many mortgages in forbearance are now delinquent: Mortgage delinquencies which went up 90% in April, grew another 20.4% in May. As a result, the rate of delinquencies grew more than 130.8 points from May 2019. This is the highest delinquency rate since late 2011, in the middle of the Great Recession. For more information on mortgage delinquencies, click here and here.
  • Advocates seek more protections for homeowners while Banking Commissioner urges caution: Thousands of Connecticut mortgages are in forbearance and many more could go into foreclosure later this year and next. As a result, advocates have been asking the state to expand loan workout opportunities to homeowners left out by state and federal mortgage relief programs. The Department of Banking’s Commissioner, Jorge Perez, has told lawmakers to be cautious. For more on the story, click
  • Care about ending racism? Talk to your local zoning board: Connecticut Public Radio’s Where We Live held a session on the connection between racism and local zoning boards. Many local zoning boards vote to keep out affordable housing and the diverse group of people who live in affordable housing citing concerns about traffic or changing the character of the town. This has resulted in the hypersegregation we see in Connecticut today. To listen to this discussion, click here.
  • Call to Action: Tenants in Connecticut are calling on Governor Lamont to stop all evictions indefinitely and cancel the obligation to pay rent. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and economic shutdown, over 50% of renters across the state were cost-burdened, paying more than 30% of their income on housing costs. Connecticut leads the nation in income inequality, and this burden is disproportionately shouldered by Black and brown communities: nearly 60% of Black renters and 55% of Hispanic renters are cost-burdened compared to 43% of white renters. For more information on tenants’ demands and to sign the petition, click here. To participate in the daily actions on Mondays and Wednesday, click here.

Outreach:  Staff continue to hold fair housing trainings and COVID-19 housing resource workshops via Zoom with social service agencies, direct service providers, and invested stakeholders. If your agency would find a short resource webinar or fair housing training helpful during this crisis please contact Shaznene Hussain, the Center’s Education and Outreach Coordinator, at Shussain@ctfairhousing.org

Resources for tenants and homeowners:

  • Click here to understand current tenant rent relief options in Spanish and English.
  • Click here to find more details in our tenant FAQ.
  • Click here to understand current rights for homeowners in Spanish and English.
  • Click here to understand how fair housing can protect you during the COVID-19 crisis. (Our guidance is now available in 11 languages.)
  • Need to have your subsidized rent recalculated due to income loss? The Rent Recalculation Request tool can be accessed here in Spanish and English.
  • To sign up for our weekly update fill out the form

More COVID-19 resources can be found on our website here.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR FAIR HOUSING RIGHTS IN ENGLISH, SPANISH, MANDARIN, VIETNAMESE, FARSI, RUSSIAN, ITALIAN, KREYOL, ARABIC, KHMER, AND TAGALOG, CLICK HERE.

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER (@CTFAIRHOUSING) FOR UPDATES THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

Fair Housing COVID-19 Response 6.18.2020

ADDRESSING CLIENTS’ NEEDS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

June 18, 2020

The offices of the Connecticut Fair Housing Center will be closed on Friday, June 19 in honor of Juneteenth. For more information about this day and the significant but neglected role it plays in United States history, read here:

The Center stands in solidarity with Black people fighting for equity in access to housing, education, and healthcare.

Important Deadline:  There is no extension for paying June rent. If you did not pay April rent, that is due in June also.

Call to Action:  Tenants in Connecticut are calling on Governor Lamont to stop all evictions indefinitely and cancel the obligation to pay rent. Connecticut leads the nation in income inequality, and this burden is disproportionately shouldered by Black and brown communities: nearly 60% of Black renters and 55% of Hispanic renters are cost-burdened compared to 43% of white renters. For more information on tenants’ demands and to sign the petition, click here. To participate in the daily actions on Mondays and Wednesday, click here.

Public Official Outreach: Center staff continue to participate in Facebook Live, community Zoom meetings, and tele-townhalls with legislative officials. If you would like our assistance reaching your constituency, please contact our outreach coordinator shussain@ctfairhousing.org

What happened since June 11, 2020:

  • Federal agencies extend foreclosure and eviction moratorium: To help borrowers and renters who are at risk of losing their homes due to the coronavirus emergency, various federal agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the FHA, and the VA) have extended their moratorium on filing foreclosures and starting evictions on post-foreclosure matters until August 31. For more information on this, click here, here, here, and here.
  • The Center seeks a rent relief program that does not reinforce segregation: On June 16, the Center sent a letter to Governor Lamont, the Secretary of OPM, and the Commissioner of the Department of Housing asking create a rental assistance that does not reinforce segregation. The program currently under discussion uses $10 million of CARES Act fund and will lead to significant numbers of Blacks and Latinos losing their homes thus reinforcing nearly 100 years of policies which led to the hyper-segregation we see today in Connecticut. To read the Center’s letter and press release, click here.
  • Connecticut needs a bailout for the rental market: Civil legal services advocates warned that when the State’s eviction moratorium ends on July 1, Connecticut will face a surge of evictions with dire economic and public health consequences. The advocates urged the State to follow the lead of New Jersey and Pennsylvania to use CARES Act funds to assist tenants and landlords. To read this story, click here.
  • Elm City Communities (Housing Authority of New Haven) cancels rent for July: On June 16, 2020, Elm City Housing (the Housing Authority of New Haven) announced it was cancelling rent for its 1,280 families living in its public housing. “Combining [income between $14,000 and $16,000 for most families] with the additional costs of COVID-19 related disruptions in work schedules, school schedules, increased electricity bills, food costs, cleaning supplies, childcare and medical costs means that we’re dealing with serious problems that will last longer than the reliefs currently in place,” Executive Director Dr. Karen DuBois-Walton said. Click here to read more.
  • Senate Democrats call for special session on racial justice: Connecticut’s Senate Democrats asked for a special session to deal with racial justice, stating “The Connecticut legislature has remained in neutral for far too long on basic, vital changes to our existing public policies, changes that can make a real and substantive difference in the lives of a third of our population. It is the 21st century, yet we have remained stalled on real progress.” To reach the full statement, click here.
  • Zoning causes segregation: Among the small towns where Black Lives Matter protests have taken place, there is little reference to the zoning laws and public outcry that prevent the create of affordable housing which would lead to diversifying the people who live there. Legal scholars, planning officials, and policy advocates have been discussing how zoning causes the hyper-segregation we see today in Connecticut. These advocates hope that the time has come to reverse some of these laws. For more, click here and here.
  • Federal Courts reopened on June 16: Connecticut Federal District Courts expanded in-person hearings in civil and criminal matters on Tuesday, June 16. Jury selection and jury trials are still delayed until September. For more information, click here.
  • Landlords file suit to overturn governor’s rent relief order: Eight landlords, represented by State Representatives (and attorneys) Pavalock-D’Amato, Fishbein, and Dubitsky, have filed suit in federal court alleging that Governor Lamont’s Executive Order 7x, which prevents the bringing of summary process actions for reasons other than serious nuisance, is unconstitutional. Click here for more information.
  • Connecticut creates a rental assistance program for tenants: The Connecticut Department of Housing is in the process of creating a $10 million program that will assist tenants with income at 80% of AMI in 2019 who were unable to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. The details of the program are still being worked out. For more information, click here.
  • Suspension of the use of executions in completed cases: The Connecticut Judicial Branch has issued an order stopping the issuance of executions in eviction and foreclosure cases through August 1. The Governor’s moratorium on filing new evictions is still expected to expire on July 1 meaning new notices to quit could be served and new eviction cases can be filed in July if not otherwise barred by the federal CARES Act. The Branch also extended law days to August 4, and sale dates to August 22. And the Branch lifted the suspension of most appellate-related deadlines. To read the Judicial Branch’s orders, click here.

Outreach:  Staff continue to hold fair housing trainings and COVID-19 housing resource workshops via Zoom with social service agencies, direct service providers, and invested stakeholders. If your agency would find a short resource webinar or fair housing training helpful during this crisis please contact Shaznene Hussain, the Center’s Education and Outreach Coordinator, at Shussain@ctfairhousing.org

 

Resources for tenants and homeowners:

  • Click here to understand current tenant rent relief options in Spanish and English.
  • Click here to find more details in our tenant FAQ.
  • Click here to understand current rights for homeowners in Spanish and English.
  • Click here to understand how fair housing can protect you during the COVID-19 crisis. (Our guidance is now available in 11 languages.)
  • Need to have your subsidized rent recalculated due to income loss? The Rent Recalculation Request tool can be accessed here in Spanish and English.
  • To sign up for our weekly update fill out the form

 

More COVID-19 resources can be found on our website here.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR FAIR HOUSING RIGHTS IN ENGLISH, SPANISH, MANDARIN, VIETNAMESE, FARSI, RUSSIAN, ITALIAN, KREYOL, ARABIC, KHMER, AND TAGALOG, CLICK HERE.

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER (@CTFAIRHOUSING) FOR UPDATES THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

Fair Housing Response COVID-19 6.11.20

ADDRESSING CLIENTS’ NEEDS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

June 11, 2020

As thousands of Connecticut residents continue to protest the killing of George Floyd, police brutality, and racial injustice across the state, they remind us that racialized violence and injustice continue to be deep-seated problems in Connecticut too. Over the last few years, racial justice activists have called for accountability and justice in cases of police violence against Black people and other people of color in numerous Connecticut cities and towns, including Bridgeport, Hamden, Hartford, New Britain, New Haven, New London, West Haven, Waterbury, and Wethersfield.

As a fair housing organization, the Center is witness to the racial inequality and injustice perpetuated through discriminatory housing policies and practices in our state. Connecticut continues to be highly racially and economically segregated, with the vast majority of non-white Connecticut residents living in our under-resourced cities, where policing and incarceration rates are disproportionately high. At the same time, eviction rates in our cities are among the highest in the nation, and hundreds of mostly Black people and other people of color have been displaced due to atrocious housing conditions and lack of safe and affordable housing. We join other civil rights activists and advocates across the state in calling for Connecticut to prioritize housing, education, and healthcare, NOT policing and prisons.


Important Deadline:  There is no extension for paying June rent. If you did not pay April rent, that is due in June also.

Call to Action:  Tenants in Connecticut are calling on Governor Lamont to stop all evictions indefinitely and cancel the obligation to pay rent. Connecticut leads the nation in income inequality, and this burden is disproportionately shouldered by Black and brown communities: nearly 60% of Black renters and 55% of Hispanic renters are cost-burdened compared. For more information on tenants’ demands and to sign the petition, click here. To participate in the daily actions on Mondays and Wednesday, click here.

Public Official Outreach: Center staff continue to participate in Facebook Live, community Zoom meetings, and tele-townhalls with legislative officials. If you would like our assistance reaching your constituency, please contact the Center’s Education and Outreach Coordinator, at Shussain@ctfairhousing.org


What happened since June 4, 2020:

Connecticut creates a rental assistance program for tenants

Suspension of the use of executions in completed cases

Mortgage delinquencies continue to rise

Racial wealth gap widening as the result of COVID-19

Courant editorial on segregation

Zoning reform can help promote integration

Pandemic and George Floyd killing result in call to action by legislative leaders

Governor Lamont agrees to call a special session but only if the Governor and the Legislature agree on legislation

The William Casper Graustein Memorial Fund believes that Black Lives Matter


Connecticut creates a rental assistance program for tenants

The Connecticut Department of Housing is in the process of creating a $10 million program that will assist tenants with income at 80% of AMI in 2019 who were unable to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. The details of the program are still being worked out. For more information, click here

Suspension of the use of executions in completed cases

 The Connecticut Judicial Branch has issued an order stopping the issuance of executions in eviction and foreclosure cases through August 1. The Governor’s moratorium on filing new evictions is still expected to expire on July 1 meaning new notices to quit could be served and new eviction cases can be filed in July if not otherwise barred by the federal CARES Act. The Branch also extended law days to August 4, and sale dates to August 25. And the Branch lifted the suspension of most appellate-related deadlines. To read the Judicial Branch’s orders, click here.

Mortgage delinquencies continue to rise

The mortgage delinquency rate experienced its single biggest monthly increase on record from April to March, more than triple the previous high. Early indications are that, while many homeowners with forbearance plans actually made their April payment, far fewer did so in May. This means that the delinquency rate will likely rise again when May’s numbers are released. For more on this story, click here.

Racial wealth gap widening as the result of COVID-19

Recent Census data reviewed by the Urban Institute reveals that the racial wealth gap in widening as the result of COVID-19. Even before the pandemic, people of color and low-income families were facing crushing housing cost burdens and housing instability stemming in large part from structural racism. Because Black and Latino people have been hardest hit by the pandemic and the stay at home orders, it is estimated that the wealth gap between whites and people of color will continue to grow. For more on this story, click here.

Courant editorial on segregation

In response to recent protests over police brutality and systemic racism, the Hartford Courant published an editorial acknowledging Connecticut’s residential segregation and the role this plays in maintaining disparities in income, educational achievement, and living conditions. To read the editorial, click here. To read the Center’s response, click here.

Zoning reform can help promote integration

 Zoning expert Sara Bronin met virtually with more than 150 lawyers, planners, and architects to begin a discussion of how to reform land use in Connecticut as part of a strategy to promote residential integration. To read more about the meeting and plans for the future, click here.

Pandemic and George Floyd killing result in call to action by legislative leaders

Connecticut legislators have called for a special session to address the reforms that will address the issues raised by recent protests regarding police brutality and systemic racism. The fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on people of color is also a reason for the General Assembly to act quickly. To read more, click here

Governor Lamont agrees to call a special session but only if the Governor and the Legislature agree on legislation

The Governor agreed to call a special session of the legislature but only if there was an agreement on allowing voters to use absentee ballots and legislation to address police accountability. To read the Governor’s letter to the General Assembly, click here.

The William Casper Graustein Memorial Fund believes that

Black Lives Matter

The Connecticut-based William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund challenged its peers to act swiftly and consistently to put racial justice at the center of their philanthropy.  To read the statement, click here.

Resources for tenants and homeowners:

  • Click here to understand current tenant rent relief options in Spanish and English.
  • Click here to find more details in our tenant FAQ.
  • Click here to understand current rights for homeowners in Spanish and English.
  • Click here to understand how fair housing can protect you during the COVID-19 crisis. (Our guidance is now available in 11 languages.)
  • Need to have your subsidized rent recalculated due to income loss? The Rent Recalculation Request tool can be accessed here in Spanish and English.
  • To sign up for our weekly update fill out the form

More COVID-19 resources can be found on our website here.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR FAIR HOUSING RIGHTS IN ENGLISH, SPANISH, MANDARIN, VIETNAMESE, FARSI, RUSSIAN, ITALIAN, KREYOL, ARABIC, KHMER, AND TAGALOG, CLICK HERE.

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER (@CTFAIRHOUSING) FOR UPDATES THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

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Fair Housing COVID-19 Response 6.4.20

ADDRESSING CLIENTS’ NEEDS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

June 4, 2020

The Center’s daily update will now be published weekly on Thursdays.

The Connecticut Fair Housing Center acknowledges and grieves the harsh reality of this moment for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. The Center is committed to continuing the work of the leaders of the current protests to address the legacy and ongoing effects of racism and injustice and of building communities that are safe and supportive for people that are oppressed.

Important Deadlines:  There is no extension for paying June rent. If you did not pay April rent, that is due in June also.

Resources for tenants and homeowners:

  • Click here to understand current tenant rent relief options in Spanish and English.
  • Click here to find more details in our tenant FAQ.
  • Click here to understand current rights for homeowners in Spanish and English.
  • Click here to understand how fair housing can protect you during the COVID-19 crisis. (Recently added Tagalog and Khmer translations to our guidance now available in 11 languages.)
  • Need to have your subsidized rent recalculated due to income loss? The Rent Recalculation Request tool can be accessed here in Spanish and English.
  • To sign up for our weekly update fill out the form

 

What happened since May 28, 2020:

 

  • Connecticut creates program that assists people who are undocumented: Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the State of Connecticut is partnering with philanthropic organizations in an effort to provide emergency assistance to vulnerable residents in the state who are most directly impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency and are otherwise ineligible from receiving assistance through federal pandemic relief programs, including those from within the undocumented community. For details on the assistance available and plans for implementation, click here.
  • Immigrant rights groups respond to Governor Lamont’s program to aid undocumented residents: Several immigrant rights groups were shocked when the Lamont Administration announced a public-private partnership to provide $3.5 million to support undocumented people in Connecticut without consulting many of the groups on the ground who have been working with individuals who are undocumented. In addition, the groups were shocked that only $3.5 million was allocated to support more than 140,000 people.  To read the full statement, click here.
  • Letter to Governor asks for an extension on the foreclosure and eviction moratoriums: The Center and the nonprofit legal services programs in the state asked Governor Lamont to extend Executive Order No. 7X until 30 days after the end of the public health emergency or through August 25 (to match the federal CARES Act moratorium), whichever is later, and provide deferral of all rental payments during that time. This extension gives the state time to develop and implement a plan to stabilize the housing market by assisting renters and landlords who cannot pay their rent and mortgages. To see the letter, click here.
  • Governor Lamont and Department of Banking announce 60-day extension of Connecticut Mortgage Relief program: Governor Lamont and Banking Commissioner Jorge Perez announced that over 45 banks and credit unions have agreed to extend their voluntary participation in the CT Mortgage Relief Program, which provides relief to consumers facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. The program, launched on March 31, 2020 and set to expire on May 31, 2020, will now run through July 30, 2020.  For more information, click
  • Mortgages in forbearance continue to grow: As of June 1, the number of mortgages in forbearance for depository institutions rose to 9.19%. More importantly, the number of Ginnie Mae mortgages had the largest overall increase in forbearance by investor type which rose 22 basis points to 11.82%. These are FHA and VA mortgages for people who have little financial resources to withstand the current economic downtown and thus are most likely to go into foreclosure once the foreclosure moratoriums end. For more information, click here.
  • Nonprofit legal assistance organizations lose funding: As the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofit legal services groups, including the Center, will face at least a 28% drop in funding from the Connecticut Bar Foundation. This drop in funding comes at a time when people will need more legal help to fight evictions and foreclosures. To read more, click here.
  • Tenants largely stay current on rent: Nationally, rent collections for May were only slightly below where they were last year. It seems that most tenants used their CARES Act stimulus checks and extended unemployment to pay rent. This finding was borne out in a survey of landlords done by the Connecticut Department of Housing which found that the majority of tenants in Connecticut have been paying their rent. For more information on the national trends, click here.
  • Pandemic hits minority and young workers hardest: The coronavirus-induced recession has hit Connecticut’s racial minorities and workers in their 20s and 30s the hardest, according to an analysis last week of more than 343,000 state unemployment claims. The analysis, conducted by CT Data Collaborative, found that larger shares of the Native American, African American, Hispanic, and Asian-Pacific American populations have become unemployed than white residents have. For more information on this disparity, click here.
  • Disparities in black and Latino death rates higher than originally thought: After reporting for weeks that Connecticut Hispanics are only half as likely to die from COVID-19 as non-Hispanic whites, state officials now say that Hispanics here are substantially more likelyto die from the disease. State officials were also reporting that the state’s black population was only 26% more likely than whites to die from a coronavirus infection when in fact their likelihood of death is 2.5 times as high.  The death rate for Hispanics is now calculated at 67% higher than non-Hispanic whites. For more information on the change in reporting, click here.
  • Call to Action: Tenants in Connecticut are calling on Governor Lamont to stop all evictions indefinitely and cancel the obligation to pay rent. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and economic shutdown, over 50% of renters across the state were cost-burdened, paying more than 30% of their income on housing costs. Connecticut leads the nation in income inequality, and this burden is disproportionately shouldered by Black and brown communities: nearly 60% of Black renters and 55% of Hispanic renters are cost-burdened compared to 43% of white renters. For more information on tenants’ demands and to sign the petition, click here. To participate in the daily actions on Mondays and Wednesday, click here.
  • Outreach: Staff continue to hold fair housing trainings and COVID-19 housing resource workshops via Zoom with social service agencies, direct service providers, and invested stakeholders. If your agency would find a short resource webinar or fair housing training helpful during this crisis please contact Shaznene Hussain, the Center’s Education and Outreach Coordinator, at Shussain@ctfairhousing.org

 

More external COVID-19 resources can be found on our website here.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR FAIR HOUSING RIGHTS IN ENGLISH, SPANISH, MANDARIN, VIETNAMESE, FARSI, RUSSIAN, ITALIAN, KREYOL, ARABIC, KHMER, AND TAGALOG, CLICK HERE.

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER (@CTFAIRHOUSING) FOR UPDATES THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

Fair Housing COVID-19 Response 5.28.20

ADDRESSING CLIENTS’ NEEDS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

May 28, 2020

The Center’s daily update will now be published weekly on Thursdays.

Important Deadlines:  There is no extension for paying June rent. If you did not pay April rent, that is due in June also.

Resources for tenants and homeowners:

  • Click here to understand current tenant rent relief options in Spanish and English.
  • Click here to find more details in our tenant FAQs.
  • Click here to understand current rights for homeowners in Spanish and English.
  • Click here to understand how fair housing can protect you during the COVID-19 crisis. (Recently added Tagalog and Khmer translations to our guidance now available in 11 languages.)
  • The Rent Recalculation Request tool can be accessed here in Spanish and English.
  • here.

What happened since May 21, 2020:

  • Unemployment numbers continue to surge: April’s unemployment numbers show that Connecticut lost 266,300 jobs in April. As a result, Labor Commissioner Kurt Wesby estimates that the unemployment rate in Connecticut is close to 17.5%. In contrast, Connecticut lost 120,000 jobs between March 2008 and January 2010, the period dubbed “The Great Recession.” For more on this story, click here.
  • Boston Federal Reserve Bank predicts a surge of missed rent and mortgage payments: The Federal Reserve projects that nearly 100,000 Connecticut homeowners and 170,000 renters are at risk of missing at least one rent or mortgage payment especially when federal unemployment benefits end in July. To read more about the ongoing need for rental and mortgage assistance, click here.
  • Mortgages in forbearance continue to grow: The mortgage industry company Black Knight reported that, as of the week ended May 7, 8.8% of all mortgages and 12.4% of FHA/VA mortgages are in forbearance. These totals plus recent projections by Black Knight make it likely that seriously delinquent mortgages (90+ days delinquent) will be worse than at the peak of the Great Recession (8.13% in Connecticut) by the fall. For more information on this story, click here.
  • Avalanche of evictions: The economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is particularly hard on renters who are more likely to be lower-income and work hourly jobs cut during the pandemic. For more on who is likely to be unable to pay rent, click here.
  • Tenants paying rent in May but what about June: Stimulus funds in the form of enhanced unemployment and stimulus payments helped tenants pay rent in May, but it is unclear what will happen in June and July once those benefits begin to dry up. For more on what may happen to people who cannot pay the rent when eviction moratoriums and benefits end, click here.
  • CHFA instructs servicers on foreclosures, evictions, and payment forbearance: On May 22, CHFA instructed all of its servicers to: 1) halt all new foreclosure actions; 2) suspend all foreclosure actions currently in process (including the filing of any motions or proceeding with any pending matters in any way); and 3) cease all eviction and ejectment activity through June 30. In addition, it reminded services that the CARES Act authorizes payment forbearance for all requesting borrowers who affirm that they are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the current crisis and that no fees, penalties, or extra interest may be charged. For more information, click here.
  • Utility shut off moratorium is still in place: Utility companies in Connecticut are still not shutting off utilities. In addition, all have suspended late payment fees or interest charges to all accounts. Contact your local utility companies to find out about new services or creating a payment plan. Shut offs may resume on July 1.
  • Limited Court operations to resume in three counties: The Connecticut Judicial Branch is targeting the partial resumption of operations in three courthouses starting Monday, June 8, 2020, The three courthouses are: the Middlesex Judicial District Courthouse in Middletown, Rockville’s Geographical Area No. 19 Courthouse, and the Litchfield Judicial District Courthouse at Torrington. For information on the types of cases that will be heard and the rules for entering the courthouses, click here.
  • Call to Action: Tenants in Connecticut are calling on Governor Lamont to stop all evictions indefinitely and cancel the obligation to pay rent. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and economic shutdown, over 50% of renters across the state were cost-burdened, paying more than 30% of their income on housing costs. Connecticut leads the nation in income inequality, and this burden is disproportionately shouldered by Black and brown communities: nearly 60% of Black renters and 55% of Hispanic renters are cost-burdened compared to 43% of white renters. For more information on tenants’ demands and to sign the petition, click here. To join the Cancel Rent CT Caravans happening on May 30 and to participate in the daily actions on Mondays and Wednesdays, click here.
  • Outreach: Staff continue to hold fair housing trainings and COVID-19 housing resource workshops via Zoom with social service agencies, direct service providers, and invested stakeholders. If your agency would find a short resource webinar or fair housing training helpful during this crisis please contact Shaznene Hussain, the Center’s Education and Outreach Coordinator, at shussain@ctfairhousing.org.  

More external COVID-19 resources can be found on our website here.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR FAIR HOUSING RIGHTS IN ENGLISH, SPANISH, MANDARIN, VIETNAMESE, FARSI, RUSSIAN, ITALIAN, KREYOL, ARABIC, KHMER, AND TAGALOG, CLICK HERE.

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER (@CTFAIRHOUSING) FOR UPDATES THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

Fair Housing COVID-19 Response 5.21.20

ADDRESSING CLIENTS’ NEEDS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

May 21, 2020

Beginning today, the Center will publish this update on a weekly basis every Thursday. Since the Governor declared a state of emergency and ordered people to quarantine themselves on March 13, the Center has published its daily update every workday. The list of readers has grown to more than 1,200 each day. We have heard from many of you how much you appreciate our efforts to keep you updated on the latest efforts to assist people whose housing stability is threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic shut down. We hope you will continue to read and share the updates. Thank you for working with us on these important issues.

Important Deadlines:  Tenants who did not pay May rent were supposed to notify their landlords in writing by May 10, 2020 that they could not pay rent due to full or partial unemployment, or significant loss in revenue or increase in expenses due to the pandemic to get a 60-day extension to pay the rent.

If you did not send a letter by May 10, you should still use the letter and text templates to request rental payment extension from your landlord, click here.

There is no extension for June rent. If you did not pay April rent, that is due in June also.

Resources for tenants and homeowners:

  • Click here to understand current tenant rent relief options in Spanish and English.
  • Click here to find more details in our tenant FAQ.
  • Click here to understand current rights for homeowners in Spanish and English.
  • Click here to understand how fair housing can protect you during the COVID-19 crisis. (Recently added Tagalog and Khmer translations to our guidance now available in 11 languages.)
  • Need to have your subsidized rent recalculated due to income loss? The Rent Recalculation Request tool can be accessed here in Spanish and English.
  • To sign up for our daily update fill out the form

 

What happened on May 20, 2020:

 

  • Tenants need assistance to pay the rent: The Center continues to urge the Governor and the Department of Housing to assist tenants who are not able to pay the rent. The Center and legal services advocates have proposed creating a Rental Market Stabilization fund that would give landlords money in exchange for an agreement not to evict tenants. Currently, the State has allocated $2.8 million for rental assistance but has not announced how those funds will be distributed. For the rental assistance programs implemented by other cities and states, click here. To read the proposal put together by legal services and the Center, click here.
  • Tenants paying rent in May but what about June: While reports from owners with market-rate apartments show that as many as 81% of tenants paid rent in May, it is unclear what will happen when June rent comes due. Owners believe that tenants paid April and May rent with a combination of savings, stimulus checks, and unemployment benefits. However, as states reopen, many tenants are faced with leaving children at home alone because there are so few daycare slots or losing unemployment benefits for refusing to return to work. Tenants and landlords need rental assistance. For more information, click here.
  • The Boston Federal Reserve estimates that as many as 268,000 Connecticut residents could miss housing payments: According to a newly released report by the Boston Federal Reserve, at least 268,000 homeowners and renters could miss housing payments as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic slowdown. Despite the receipt of CARES Act payments, 9 to 13% of renters and 2 to 3% of homeowners are likely still at risk of losing their homes without additional intervention from the state or federal government. To read the study, click here.
  • Governor asked to issue an Executive Order regarding forbearances and post-forbearance workout options: The Center and Yale Law School’s Housing Clinic have asked the Governor to issue an Executive Order that requiring all the state-chartered banks and credit unions, along with all the nonbank mortgage servicers licensed and regulated by the Department of Banking, to offer forbearance options no worse than the federal CARES Act; and post-forbearance loan workout options no worse than what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac require from their servicers. To read the full letter, click here.
  • Hundreds of foreclosure cases continue to be filed: Most government agencies have announced that their insured or backed mortgages would be subject to a bar on new foreclosure actions or post-foreclosure eviction actions until at least June 30, 2020. On March 31, Governor Lamont announced he had reached an agreement with more than 50 Connecticut banks and credit unions in which the banks and credit unions agreed not to begin any new foreclosures for at least 60 days. However, since that announcement, more than 360 new foreclosure actions have been filed, including 16 by nine covered institutions.
  • Mortgages in forbearance continue to grow: The mortgage industry company Black Knight reported that, as of the week ended May 5, 8% of all mortgages and 12.4% of FHA/VA mortgages are in forbearance. These totals plus recent projections by Black Knight make it likely that seriously delinquent mortgages (90+ days delinquent) will be worse than at the peak of the Great Recession (8.13% in Connecticut) by August. For more information on this story, click here.
  • Call to Action: Tenants in Connecticut are calling on Governor Lamont to stop all evictions indefinitely and cancel the obligation to pay rent. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and economic shutdown, over 50% of renters across the state were cost-burdened, paying more than 30% of their income on housing costs. Connecticut leads the nation in income inequality, and this burden is disproportionately shouldered by Black and brown communities: nearly 60% of Black renters and 55% of Hispanic renters are cost-burdened compared to 43% of white renters. For more information on tenants’ demands and to sign the petition, click here. To participate in the daily actions on Mondays and Wednesday, click here.
  • Outreach: The Center is hosting a remote training on the design and construction requirements of the federal Fair Housing Act on Wednesday, May 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. This program is registered with the American Institute of Architects. Architects will receive up to 6 continuing education HSW credits. For more information, click here. To register, click here.
  • Outreach: Staff continue to hold fair housing trainings and COVID-19 housing resource workshops via Zoom with social service agencies, direct service providers, and invested stakeholders. If your agency would find a short resource webinar or fair housing training helpful during this crisis please contact Shaznene Hussain, the Center’s Education and Outreach Coordinator, at Shussain@ctfairhousing.org

 

More external COVID-19 resources can be found on our website here.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR FAIR HOUSING RIGHTS IN ENGLISH, SPANISH, MANDARIN, VIETNAMESE, FARSI, RUSSIAN, ITALIAN, KREYOL, ARABIC, KHMER, AND TAGALOG, CLICK HERE.

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER (@CTFAIRHOUSING) FOR UPDATES THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

Fair Housing COVID-19 Daily Response 5.20.20

ADDRESSING CLIENTS’ NEEDS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

May 20, 2020

Important Deadlines:  Tenants who did not pay May rent were supposed to notify their landlords in writing by May 10, 2020 that they could not pay rent due to full or partial unemployment, or significant loss in revenue or increase in expenses due to the pandemic to get a 60-day extension to pay the rent.

If you did not send a letter by May 10, you should still use the letter and text templates to request rental payment extension from your landlord, click here.

There is no extension for June rent. If you did not pay April rent, that is due in June also.

Resources for tenants and homeowners:

  • Click here to understand current tenant rent relief options in Spanish and English.
  • Click here to find more details in our tenant FAQ.
  • Click here to understand current rights for homeowners in Spanish and English.
  • Click here to understand how fair housing can protect you during the COVID-19 crisis. (Recently added Tagalog and Khmer translations to our guidance now available in 11 languages.)
  • Need to have your subsidized rent recalculated due to income loss? The Rent Recalculation Request tool can be accessed here in Spanish and English.
  • To sign up for our daily update fill out the form

 

What happened on May 19, 2020:

 

  • The Boston Federal Reserve estimates that as many as 268,000 Connecticut residents could miss housing payments: According to a newly released report by the Boston Federal Reserve, at least 268,000 homeowners and renters could miss housing payments as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic slowdown. Despite the receipt of CARES Act payments, 9 to 13% of renters and 2 to 3% of homeowners are likely still at risk of losing their homes without additional intervention from the state or federal government. To read the study, click here.
  • Governor asked to issue an Executive Order regarding forbearances and post-forbearance workout options: The Center and Yale Law School’s Housing Clinic have asked the Governor to issue an Executive Order that requiring all the state-chartered banks and credit unions, along with all the nonbank mortgage servicers licensed and regulated by the Department of Banking, to offer forbearance options no worse than the federal CARES Act; and post-forbearance loan workout options no worse than what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac require from their servicers. To read the full letter, click here.
  • Hundreds of foreclosure cases continue to be filed: On March 19, HUD announced that its insured mortgages would be subject to a bar on new foreclosure actions or post-foreclosure eviction actions until May 19. That order has been extended until at least June 30, 2020. On March 31, Governor Lamont announced he had reached an agreement with more than 50 Connecticut banks and credit unions in which the banks and credit unions agreed not to begin any new foreclosures for at least 60 days. Since the Governor’s agreement with Connecticut banks and credit unions, more than 360 new foreclosure actions have been filed, including 15 by nine covered institutions.
  • Mortgages in forbearance continue to grow: The mortgage industry company Black Knight reported that, as of the week ended May 5, 8% of all mortgages and 12.4% of FHA/VA mortgages are in forbearance. These totals plus recent projections by Black Knight make it likely that seriously delinquent mortgages (90+ days delinquent) will be worse than at the peak of the Great Recession (8.13% in Connecticut) by August. For more information on this story, click here.
  • Call to Action: Tenants in Connecticut are calling on Governor Lamont to stop all evictions indefinitely and cancel the obligation to pay rent. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and economic shutdown, over 50% of renters across the state were cost-burdened, paying more than 30% of their income on housing costs. Connecticut leads the nation in income inequality, and this burden is disproportionately shouldered by Black and brown communities: nearly 60% of Black renters and 55% of Hispanic renters are cost-burdened compared to 43% of white renters. For more information on tenants’ demands and to sign the petition, click here. To participate in the daily actions on Mondays and Wednesday, click here.
  • Outreach: The Center is hosting a remote training on the design and construction requirements of the federal Fair Housing Act on Wednesday, May 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. This program is registered with the American Institute of Architects. Architects will receive up to 6 continuing education HSW credits. For more information, click here. To register, click here.
  • Outreach: Staff continue to hold fair housing trainings and COVID-19 housing resource workshops via Zoom with social service agencies, direct service providers, and invested stakeholders. If your agency would find a short resource webinar or fair housing training helpful during this crisis please contact Shaznene Hussain, the Center’s Education and Outreach Coordinator, at Shussain@ctfairhousing.org

 

More external COVID-19 resources can be found on our website here.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR FAIR HOUSING RIGHTS IN ENGLISH, SPANISH, MANDARIN, VIETNAMESE, FARSI, RUSSIAN, ITALIAN, KREYOL, ARABIC, KHMER, AND TAGALOG, CLICK HERE.

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER (@CTFAIRHOUSING) FOR UPDATES THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

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