ADDRESSING CLIENTS’ NEEDS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
June 4, 2020
The Center’s daily update will now be published weekly on Thursdays.
The Connecticut Fair Housing Center acknowledges and grieves the harsh reality of this moment for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. The Center is committed to continuing the work of the leaders of the current protests to address the legacy and ongoing effects of racism and injustice and of building communities that are safe and supportive for people that are oppressed.
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 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 weekly update fill out the form
What happened since May 28, 2020:
- Connecticut creates program that assists people who are undocumented: Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the State of Connecticut is partnering with philanthropic organizations in an effort to provide emergency assistance to vulnerable residents in the state who are most directly impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency and are otherwise ineligible from receiving assistance through federal pandemic relief programs, including those from within the undocumented community. For details on the assistance available and plans for implementation, click here.
- Immigrant rights groups respond to Governor Lamont’s program to aid undocumented residents: Several immigrant rights groups were shocked when the Lamont Administration announced a public-private partnership to provide $3.5 million to support undocumented people in Connecticut without consulting many of the groups on the ground who have been working with individuals who are undocumented. In addition, the groups were shocked that only $3.5 million was allocated to support more than 140,000 people. To read the full statement, click here.
- Letter to Governor asks for an extension on the foreclosure and eviction moratoriums: The Center and the nonprofit legal services programs in the state asked Governor Lamont to extend Executive Order No. 7X until 30 days after the end of the public health emergency or through August 25 (to match the federal CARES Act moratorium), whichever is later, and provide deferral of all rental payments during that time. This extension gives the state time to develop and implement a plan to stabilize the housing market by assisting renters and landlords who cannot pay their rent and mortgages. To see the letter, click here.
- Governor Lamont and Department of Banking announce 60-day extension of Connecticut Mortgage Relief program: Governor Lamont and Banking Commissioner Jorge Perez announced that over 45 banks and credit unions have agreed to extend their voluntary participation in the CT Mortgage Relief Program, which provides relief to consumers facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. The program, launched on March 31, 2020 and set to expire on May 31, 2020, will now run through July 30, 2020. For more information, click
- Mortgages in forbearance continue to grow: As of June 1, the number of mortgages in forbearance for depository institutions rose to 9.19%. More importantly, the number of Ginnie Mae mortgages had the largest overall increase in forbearance by investor type which rose 22 basis points to 11.82%. These are FHA and VA mortgages for people who have little financial resources to withstand the current economic downtown and thus are most likely to go into foreclosure once the foreclosure moratoriums end. For more information, click here.
- Nonprofit legal assistance organizations lose funding: As the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofit legal services groups, including the Center, will face at least a 28% drop in funding from the Connecticut Bar Foundation. This drop in funding comes at a time when people will need more legal help to fight evictions and foreclosures. To read more, click here.
- Tenants largely stay current on rent: Nationally, rent collections for May were only slightly below where they were last year. It seems that most tenants used their CARES Act stimulus checks and extended unemployment to pay rent. This finding was borne out in a survey of landlords done by the Connecticut Department of Housing which found that the majority of tenants in Connecticut have been paying their rent. For more information on the national trends, click here.
- Pandemic hits minority and young workers hardest: The coronavirus-induced recession has hit Connecticut’s racial minorities and workers in their 20s and 30s the hardest, according to an analysis last week of more than 343,000 state unemployment claims. The analysis, conducted by CT Data Collaborative, found that larger shares of the Native American, African American, Hispanic, and Asian-Pacific American populations have become unemployed than white residents have. For more information on this disparity, click here.
- Disparities in black and Latino death rates higher than originally thought: After reporting for weeks that Connecticut Hispanics are only half as likely to die from COVID-19 as non-Hispanic whites, state officials now say that Hispanics here are substantially more likelyto die from the disease. State officials were also reporting that the state’s black population was only 26% more likely than whites to die from a coronavirus infection when in fact their likelihood of death is 2.5 times as high. The death rate for Hispanics is now calculated at 67% higher than non-Hispanic whites. For more information on the change in reporting, 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 participate in the daily actions on Mondays and Wednesday, 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 Shussain@ctfairhousing.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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