September 17, 2020
What happened since September 10, 2020:
Updates on Eviction Moratorium—At present there are three eviction moratoria in place. Last week’s update, included information on the eviction moratoria and what tenants need to do to ensure that the moratoria apply to them. To take advantage of the CDC moratorium that lasts through December 31, 2020, start by reading the requirements a tenant must meet to qualify for the moratorium. If the tenant meets the qualifications, then every person over 18 in the household should fill out a declaration and give it to the LANDLORD. Information about the declaration and how to create one are also available in Spanish. In addition, there are on-line forms that can be found here and here that can generate the CDC declaration.
Judicial Branch is scheduling hearings on the issuance of executions: Beginning the week of September 14, the Judicial Branch will schedule hearings in eviction cases where an execution has been requested. If an execution has been requested by a landlord, the tenant will receive notice from court staff who will provide instructions on how to participate in a remote hearing either by video or phone.
What should tenants do?
If a tenant receives notice that their landlord has requested the issuance of an execution, the tenant should begin by reading the requirements a tenant must meet to qualify for the CDC moratorium. If the tenant meets the qualifications, then every person over 18 in the household should fill out a declaration and give it to the LANDLORD. Information about the declaration and how to create one are also available in Spanish. In addition, there are on-line forms that can be found here and here that can generate the CDC declaration. If the tenant gives their landlord a copy of the declaration, this will stop the landlord from using an execution to move the tenant out.
However, tenants must also attend the remote hearing either by video or electronically. The notice to the tenant about the request for the execution should also include an email address where the tenant can get answers to questions regarding remote hearings.
Courts will begin issuing defaults: Beginning on September 20, Connecticut courts can begin to issue defaults in cases where the defendant (in an eviction case, the tenant) has not responded to the landlord’s court-filed complaint or an Appearance. The court will give the tenant notice that a request for a default has been filed. A default means that the tenant has lost the case and the court could issue an execution allowing a marshal to move the tenant out.
What should tenants do?
If a tenant is notified that the landlord has asked for a default because a tenant has not responded to the landlord’s court-filed complaint or filed an Appearance, tenants should fill out an Appearance form if they have not already done so and give it to the court and the landlord or the landlord’s lawyer if they have one. In addition, tenants should read the requirements to determine if they qualify for the moratorium. If they do, then every person over 18 in a household should fill out a declaration and give it to the landlord or the landlord’s lawyer if they have one. Information about the declaration and how to create one are also available in Spanish. In addition, there are on-line forms that can be found here and here that can generate the CDC declaration. Finally, the tenant can call Statewide Legal Services to determine if they are eligible for free legal assistance, including help with responding to the landlord’s court-filed complaint. Call 1-800-453-3320 or apply for help online.
TRHAP program still not open: DOH’s rental assistance program TRHAP is not accepting applications at this time. If you are unsure if you have completed an application, you can contact email@example.com. Include your name and address in the mail and the approximate date you made the application for TRHAP. It may take as long as a week to get information back from the Department of Housing.
Judicial Branch is scheduling hearings on the issuance of executions: Beginning the week of September 14, the Judicial Branch will schedule hearings in foreclosure cases where an execution has been requested. If an execution has been requested, the homeowner will receive notice from court staff who will provide instructions on how to participate in a remote hearing either by video or electronically.
What should homeowners do?
Foreclosure advice: The Center is holding Foreclosure Advice Virtual Sessions. Homeowners facing foreclosure can sign up for advice sessions over video or phone, and get some individualized questions answered in a way that they could at our in-person clinics or through the Judicial Branch’s Volunteer Attorney Program. The program began on August 7, with 8 slots weekly and will expand if there’s enough demand from homeowners and capacity for us. Homeowners can sign up, answer a few short questions, and be set up with an appointment. These Sessions are in addition to the considerable amount of videos and materials available at www.ctfairhousing.org
Apply for T-MAP on-line: The number of successful applications for the State’s TMAP program remains low and to date, with only 23 being found eligible. TMAP now has an on-line application in English. It has not yet been translated into Spanish. To apply for assistance by telephone, call 1-860-785-3111. For more information about the program, click here.
CDC moratorium not as simple as it sounds—Fending off an eviction could depend on which judge a renter who has not paid rent is given. Unfortunately, landlords are still taking renters to court and what happens next varies depending on where the tenant lives. If a landlord continues to threaten a tenant with eviction even after receiving the CDC declaration, the tenant should contact Statewide Legal Services at 1-800-453-3320 or apply for help online.
Data details the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Black and Latinx people: Black and Latinx people in the state have not only borne disproportionate loss of life due to COVID-19, but have also been hardest hit financially, according to data released Thursday. The multi-faceted analysis tells a tale of two pandemics as COVID-19 exacerbates existing health and economic inequities. Black people are nearly twice as likely to have lost a loved one for friend during the pandemic as white people. In addition, Latinx people experienced higher rates of job layoffs and housing insecurity.
Jury trials to resume in November—Connecticut’s Judicial Branch has announced that it will resume jury trials in November 2020. The jury trials will take place in a courtroom and the courts have put in place procedures to keep jurors, defendants, and staff safe.
What we are hearing from our clients:
- Tenants who were told they qualify for assistance from TRHAP have heard nothing about when their landlord will receive payments.
- Tenants who have been approved for rental payments through TRHAP have been told by their landlord that no payments have been received.
- Landlords continue to harass tenants about leaving if they owe rent even if the tenant has given the landlord a CDC declaration.
- The TRHAP program does not have a TTY line making it difficult for people who are deaf or hard of hearing to apply for benefits.
- Tenants continue to seek assistance on how to pay their rent when they have lost their income due to COVID-19
- Landlords are raising rents in response to housing shortage cause by inflow of new residents into Connecticut
- Tenants are being threatened with eviction because their children are home all day creating noise in the apartment building.
- Tenants using housing subsidies to pay their rent continue to face source of income discrimination.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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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