ADDRESSING CLIENTS’ NEEDS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
May 19, 2020
TOMORROW: Webinar on domestic violence and COVID-19: Staff attorney Pamela Heller will join the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence on Wednesday, May 20th from 1:45-2:45 for a Facebook Live discussion on current housing issues facing survivors of domestic violence. Login to Facebook to access their live event.
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.
Important Deadlines: Tenants who did not pay May rent were supposed to notify their landlords in writing by May 10, 2020 that they could not 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.
If you did not send a letter by May 10, you should still use the letter and text templates to request rental payment extension from your landlord, click here.
There is no extension for 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 daily update fill out the form
What happened on May 18, 2020:
- Advocates ask Governor to protect the rental market: The Center and other Connecticut housing advocates asked the Governor to use Coronavirus Relief Funds to protect the rental market from the destabilizing effects of the current public health emergency. Current estimates are that at least 96,000 renter households will need assistance to stay in their homes due to the current economic shutdown. Currently, the State plans to use $2.8 million to assist these households. To read the letter to the Governor, click here.
- New funding for housing for people with disabilities: HUD announced that more than $1.6 million in funding to Connecticut in a fourth wave of CARES Act funding. Provided through HUD’s Section 811 Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program, this wave of relief funds will provide affordable housing to non-elderly people living with disabilities. For a list of local housing authorities receiving new voucher assistance, click
- Borrowers with privately held mortgages face new challenges: Approximately 30% of borrowers in the U.S. have loans that are not covered by the federal forbearance rules, rules that give homeowners the chance to suspend their mortgage payments for up to a year. Some homeowners are being told they must repay the full amount of the forbearance in a lump sum. To read more, click here.
- Hundreds of foreclosure cases continue to be filed: On March 19, HUD announced that its insured mortgages would be subject to a bar on new foreclosure actions or post-foreclosure eviction actions until May 19. That order has been extended until at least June 30, 2020. On March 31, Governor Lamont announced he had reached an agreement with more than 50 Connecticut banks and credit unions in which the banks and credit unions agreed not to begin any new foreclosures for at least 60 days. Since the Governor’s agreement with Connecticut banks and credit unions, more than 360 new foreclosure actions have been filed, including 18 by ten covered institutions.
- Mortgages in forbearance continue to grow: The mortgage industry company Black Knight reported that, as of the week ended May 5, 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 August. For more information on this story, click here.
- Outreach: Staff attorney Pamela Heller will join the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence on Wednesday, May 20th from 1:45-2:45 for a Facebook Live discussion on current housing issues facing survivors of domestic violence. Login to Facebook to access their live event.
- Outreach: The Center is hosting a remote training on the design and construction requirements of the federal Fair Housing Act on Wednesday, May 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. This program is registered with the American Institute of Architects. Architects will receive up to 6 continuing education HSW credits. For more information, click here. To register, 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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