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.

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