To read a PDF version of this update click here.
ADDRESSING CLIENTS’ NEEDS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
May 6, 2020
Call to Action: Ask Senator Murphy to sign on to the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act. Call Senator Chris Murphy at 202-224-4041 or 860-549-8463, contact via website form, or tweet @ChrisMurphyCT support #RentReliefNow
Important Deadlines: Tenants who know they cannot pay May rent must notify their landlord in writing by May 10, 2020 that they can’t pay rent due to full or partial unemployment, or significant loss in revenue or increase in expenses due to the pandemic to get a 60-day extension to pay the rent.
For letter and text templates to request rental payment extension from your landlord, click here.
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. (Recently added Tagalog and Khmer translations to our guidance 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 daily update fill out the form
Fair housing issues and COVID-19:
- Many tenants have called the Center because their landlord is insisting on showing their apartment to prospective tenants or to potential buyers. While this is not a fair housing issue, it does raise serious problems regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Connecticut landlord-tenant laws state that a tenant may not unreasonably withhold consent to a landlord who wants to show a unit, do repairs, etc. However, given the current COVID-19 emergency, refusing entry to a landlord or real estate agent to show an apartment may not be unreasonable. For additional information, click here.
What happened on May 5, 2020:
- Congressional Senators and Representatives file bill requesting rental assistance: Because so many tenants cannot pay rent, Senators Sherrod Brown and Maxine Waters are asking Congress to provide $100 billion in emergency rental assistance. To read more about this bill, click here. Since yesterday’s update, all of Connecticut’s House Representatives and Senator Blumenthal have signed on as co-sponsors on this bill. Ask Senator Murphy to sign on, by calling:
- Senator Chris Murphy: 202-224-4041 or 860-549-8463
- Or send an email from the National Low Income Housing Coalition website by clicking here
- And tweet your support using the hashtag #RentReliefNow!
- COVID-19 continues to disproportionately affect people of color: People who are African-American have an infection rate of more than 2.3 times the rate of whites while Latinos an infection rate that is 2 times the rate of whites. In addition, they continue to show higher death rates than whites. For more on this, click here.
- Mortgages in forbearance continue to grow: The Mortgage Bankers Association has confirmed that the percentage of mortgages in forbearance rose to 7.54% or 1 in 13 mortgages. This means that at least that many mortgages will be 90+ days behind by August, and that we will be seeing delinquency numbers as high as the height of Great Recession before summer ends. Analysts expect these numbers to grow once again as May mortgage payments become due. For more information on this story, click here.
- Outreach: Tune in tomorrow night at 5:30 on Facebook Live to the Connecticut Legislative Black & Puerto Rican Caucus Tele-Town Hall to hear Center staff Shaznene Hussain and Fionnuala Darby-Hudgens discuss housing needs as the relate to low income residents and communities of color. For more information, click
- Outreach: Stay tuned for two important webinars coming soon. We will present on COVID-19 related housing discrimination and temporary eviction protections.
- 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
Still needed to ensure housing stability:
- Help for tenants who cannot pay their rent.
- Payments to landlords to allow them to maintain their buildings and continue to provide housing.
- Bar on mortgage companies filing foreclosure complaints. More than 850 have been filed since the Governor declared a public health and civil preparedness emergency, including several that are banned by the agreement banks and credit unions struck with the Governor and the Department of Banking.
- Municipalities need to comply with Executive Order 7S and make it easy for their constituents to participate in either a tax deferral or reduced interest program.
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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