Fair Housing COVID-19 Response 5.11.2020


ADDRESSING CLIENTS’ NEEDS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

May 11, 2020

Call to Action: Connecticut just received more than $11,439,547 in CARES Act funding. Call Governor Lamont at 860-566-4840 or tweet @govnedlamont #savetherent and ask that this money be used for the Rental Market Stabilization Fund to help tenants stay in their homes. To get more information about the Rental Market Stabilization Fund, 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 the tenants’ demands and to sign the petition, click here. To participate in the daily actions on Mondays and Wednesday, click here.

 

Call to Action:  Ask Senator Murphy to sign on to the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act. Call Senator Chris Murphy at 202-224-4041 or 860-549-8463, contact him via website form, or tweet @ChrisMurphyCT support #RentReliefNow 

 

Important Deadlines:  Tenants who did not pay May rent were supposed to notify their landlords 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.

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.

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 8, 2020:

 

  • HUD announces an additional $11,439,547 in CARES Act funding: HUD has released another $11 million in CARES Act funding for the State of Connecticut for to assist renters that may have difficulty paying rent and homeowners having difficulty paying their mortgage, among other activities. For more information, click here.
  • Congressional Senators and Representatives request rental and mortgage assistance: Because so many tenants cannot pay rent, Senators Sherrod Brown and Maxine Waters are asking Congress to provide $100 billion in emergency rental mortgage assistance. To read more about this bill, click here. All of Connecticut’s House Representatives and Senator Blumenthal have signed on as co-sponsors on this bill. Ask Senator Murphy to sign on, by calling:
    • Senator Chris Murphy: 202-224-4041 or 860-549-8463
    • Or send an email from the National Low Income Housing Coalition website by clicking here
    • And tweet your support using the hashtag #RentReliefNow!
  • Mortgages in forbearance continue to grow: Black Knight reports that, as of May 7, there were1 million loans in forbearance, up from 3.8 million in the company’s last report which covered plans put into effect by mortgage servicers through April 30. The new total represents 7.3 percent of all active mortgages and accounts for $890 billion of unpaid mortgage principal. These totals are expected to increase when May forbearance numbers are released. 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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