ADDRESSING CLIENTS’ NEEDS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
May 28, 2020
The Center’s daily update will now be published weekly on Thursdays.
Important Deadlines: There is no extension for paying June rent. If you did not pay April rent, that is due in June also.
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 FAQs.
- 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.)
- The Rent Recalculation Request tool can be accessed here in Spanish and English.
What happened since May 21, 2020:
- Unemployment numbers continue to surge: April’s unemployment numbers show that Connecticut lost 266,300 jobs in April. As a result, Labor Commissioner Kurt Wesby estimates that the unemployment rate in Connecticut is close to 17.5%. In contrast, Connecticut lost 120,000 jobs between March 2008 and January 2010, the period dubbed “The Great Recession.” For more on this story, click here.
- Boston Federal Reserve Bank predicts a surge of missed rent and mortgage payments: The Federal Reserve projects that nearly 100,000 Connecticut homeowners and 170,000 renters are at risk of missing at least one rent or mortgage payment especially when federal unemployment benefits end in July. To read more about the ongoing need for rental and mortgage assistance, click here.
- Mortgages in forbearance continue to grow: The mortgage industry company Black Knight reported that, as of the week ended May 7, 8.8% of all mortgages and 12.4% of FHA/VA mortgages are in forbearance. These totals plus recent projections by Black Knight make it likely that seriously delinquent mortgages (90+ days delinquent) will be worse than at the peak of the Great Recession (8.13% in Connecticut) by the fall. For more information on this story, click here.
- Avalanche of evictions: The economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is particularly hard on renters who are more likely to be lower-income and work hourly jobs cut during the pandemic. For more on who is likely to be unable to pay rent, click here.
- Tenants paying rent in May but what about June: Stimulus funds in the form of enhanced unemployment and stimulus payments helped tenants pay rent in May, but it is unclear what will happen in June and July once those benefits begin to dry up. For more on what may happen to people who cannot pay the rent when eviction moratoriums and benefits end, click here.
- CHFA instructs servicers on foreclosures, evictions, and payment forbearance: On May 22, CHFA instructed all of its servicers to: 1) halt all new foreclosure actions; 2) suspend all foreclosure actions currently in process (including the filing of any motions or proceeding with any pending matters in any way); and 3) cease all eviction and ejectment activity through June 30. In addition, it reminded services that the CARES Act authorizes payment forbearance for all requesting borrowers who affirm that they are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the current crisis and that no fees, penalties, or extra interest may be charged. For more information, click here.
- Utility shut off moratorium is still in place: Utility companies in Connecticut are still not shutting off utilities. In addition, all have suspended late payment fees or interest charges to all accounts. Contact your local utility companies to find out about new services or creating a payment plan. Shut offs may resume on July 1.
- Limited Court operations to resume in three counties: The Connecticut Judicial Branch is targeting the partial resumption of operations in three courthouses starting Monday, June 8, 2020, The three courthouses are: the Middlesex Judicial District Courthouse in Middletown, Rockville’s Geographical Area No. 19 Courthouse, and the Litchfield Judicial District Courthouse at Torrington. For information on the types of cases that will be heard and the rules for entering the courthouses, 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 join the Cancel Rent CT Caravans happening on May 30 and to participate in the daily actions on Mondays and Wednesdays, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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