Eviction Prevention for At-Risk Tenants: A Message to HUD Program Grantees
The CARES Act Eviction Moratorium ended on July 24, 2020. States, localities, and nonprofit organizations that administer HUD grant programs can play a crucial role in promoting housing stability during this difficult time. HUD strongly encourages its grantees to take action to keep as many families stably housed as possible. Grantees are advised that tenant-landlord relationships are governed by state and local law and landlords must comply with applicable laws, including any state or local eviction moratoria that may remain in effect.
HUD recognizes that many low-income residents are also facing new challenges due to COVID-19, such as job loss, reduced hours and income, loss of childcare, limited access to healthcare, illness, death of loved ones, increased incidents of domestic violence, rising costs for basic needs, among possible other concerns resulting from further uncertainty. The process of evicting residents can be costly to landlords, from court and legal fees to unit turnover costs and an eviction can adversely affect the housing and financial stability of an individual or household for many years to come.
New Tools for Landlords and Tenants Impacted by COVID-19
HUD strongly encourages all grantees and owners of HUD-assisted housing to work with tenants at-risk of eviction to negotiate rent repayment plans to help them stay housed. To this end, HUD is providing the following tools to help grantees and project owners to help identify and engage at-risk tenants, as well as to inform and guide tenants seeking a rent repayment plan:
- Tools for Landlords with Tenants Impacted by COVID-19 – This document helps landlords to engage with at-risk tenants while remaining in compliance with fair housing laws and understand the key elements of a repayment plan. The document provides links to sample rent repayment agreements.
- Tenant Guidance: Rent Repayment Plans – This document assists at-risk tenants in understanding and pursuing rent repayment agreements with their landlords. The document includes links to helpful resources and a sample script for requesting a repayment agreement from a landlord. Use of this guidance is optional and grantees and tenants are strongly cautioned to review their state and local laws as under some laws, a tenant notifying an owner of the inability to pay rent is sufficient for the owner to initiate eviction proceedings.
For more information about HUD’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit https://www.hud.gov/coronavirus.