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.

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