Fair Housing COVID-19 Daily Response 5.5.2020

For a PDF view of this update click here.

 ADDRESSING CLIENTS’ NEEDS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

May 5, 2020

CALL TO ACTION: Please call your congressional representatives and ask them to support $100 billion in emergency rental assistance. The details and phone numbers are listed below.

Important Deadlines:  Tenants who know they cannot pay May rent must notify their landlord in writing by May 10, 2020 that they can’t 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.

For letter and text templates to request rental payment extension from your landlord, 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. (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

Fair housing issues and COVID-19:

  • Many tenants have called the Center because their landlord is insisting on showing their apartment to prospective tenants or to potential buyers. While this is not a fair housing issue, it does raise serious problems regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Connecticut landlord-tenant laws state that a tenant may not unreasonably withhold consent to a landlord who wants to show a unit, do repairs, etc. However, given the current COVID-19 emergency, refusing entry to a landlord or real estate agent to show an apartment may not be unreasonable. For additional information, click here.

What happened on May 4, 2020:

  • Schools closed for the duration of the academic year: Governor Lamont announced that all K – 12 schools will continue remotely through the end of the academic year. Schools will continue to provide meals to children under the school breakfast and lunch programs for consumption at home. There has been no decision made about summer school programming. For more information, click here.
  • Congressional Senators and Representatives file bill requesting rental assistance: Because so many tenants cannot pay rent, Senators Sherrod Brown and Maxine Waters are asking Congress to provide $100 billion in emergency rental assistance. To read more about this bill, click here. Since yesterday’s update, Representative Rosa DeLauro and Representative Jim Himes joined Representative Jahana Hayes as co-sponsors on this bill. Ask your Congressional Senators and Representative to sign on, by calling:
    • Representative Joe Courtney: 202-225-2076 or 860-886-0139
    • Representative John Larson: 202-225-2265 or 860-278-8888
    • Senator Chris Murphy: 202-224-4041 or 860-549-8463
    • Senator Richard Blumenthal: 202-224-2823 or 860-258-6940
    • Or send an email from the National Low Income Housing Coalition website by clicking here
    • And tweet your support using the hashtag #RentReliefNow!
  • Access to information about public benefits: On Wednesday, May 6 from 2 – 3 p.m., Greater Hartford Legal and the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence will discuss and answer questions regarding access to public benefits during COVID-19. Topics covered will include unemployment insurance, housing stability and evictions, and access to food and medical benefits. They will outline COVID-19 related expansions and extensions of benefits, as well as the process of obtaining benefits via the phone or internet.

Meeting Link: https://bit.ly/CCADVWeeklyWebinars-PublicBenefits

  • Mortgages in forbearance continue to grow: the Mortgage Bankers Association has confirmed According to Black Knight, a company that collects and provides considerable mortgage industry data, the percentage of mortgages in forbearances rose to 7.54% or 1 in 13 mortgages. This means that at least that many mortgages will be 90+ days behind by August, and that we will be seeing delinquency numbers as high as the height of Great Recession before summer ends. Analysts expect these numbers to grow once again as May mortgage payments become due. For more information on this story, click here.
  • Outreach: Stay tuned for two important webinars coming soon. We will present on COVID-19 related housing discrimination and temporary eviction protections.
  • 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

Still needed to ensure housing stability:

  • Help for tenants who cannot pay their rent.
  • Payments to landlords to allow them to maintain their buildings and continue to provide housing.
  • Bar on mortgage companies filing foreclosure complaints. More than 850 have been filed since the Governor declared a public health and civil preparedness emergency, including several that are banned by the agreement banks and credit unions struck with the Governor and the Department of Banking.
  • Municipalities need to comply with Executive Order 7S and make it easy for their constituents to participate in either a tax deferral or reduced interest program.

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.

 

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