July 16, 2020
Tenant Rental Housing Assistance Program (TRHAP): The Department of Housing’s rental assistance program began accepting applications on July 15. To apply for assistance, call 1-860-785-3111. For more information about the program, click here. To read the Center’s fact sheet about the program, click here. To report issues with the program, call us.
Temporary Mortgage Assistance Program (T-MAP): CHFA’s program to assist homeowners who are unable to pay their mortgage as the result of income loss due to COVID-19 began accepting applications on July 15. To apply for assistance, call 1-860-785-3111. For more information about the program, click here. To report issues with the program, call us.
Eviction moratorium: Executive Order 7DDD issued by Governor Lamont extended the eviction moratorium so that, except for serious nuisance cases or cases based on nonpayment of rent due before February 29, 2020, no notices to quit may be served until Saturday, August 22, 2020. Please read our FAQs about the moratorium here in English and in Spanish.
What happened since July 9, 2020:
- The Judicial Branch has issued an order rescheduling all foreclosure sales from July to September to October 3 to prevent the potential gathering of individuals at the auction site.
- : Approximately 15% of Connecticut’s labor force, or between 240,000 and 320,000 people, are set to lose enhanced unemployment benefits at the end of the month. The state Department of Labor has provided over $1.8 billion in benefits since the COVID-19 pandemic began to affect the state, but about two-thirds of it, the $1.135 billion paid out in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, is set to expire the week ending July 25. The loss in benefits will not only lead to less money to spend on rent or mortgage payments but will also affect Connecticut’s economy as a whole. For more on the amount of money paid out by Connecticut in unemployment benefits, click here.
- According to state numbers, Black and Latino residents are more than three times as likely to test positive for COVID-19 as white people. Black people are more than two and a half times as likely to die from the disease and Latinos are more than one and a half times as likely. These disparities have not improved as the pandemic has progressed and by some measures have actually worsened. For more on this, click here. Additionally, new research confirms that residential segregation is a primary driver of racial health disparities and, consequently, the high rate of infection among people who are Black. Read more about this here.
- New mortgage delinquencies hit a record high in April, well above anything seen during the Great Recession. More than 3.4% of homeowners were at least 30 days delinquent on their mortgages. Mortgage delinquencies are among the first signs of a weakness in the housing market. For more on this story, click here. A new policy brief issued by the National Consumer Law Center finds the disparity in delinquency rates is greatest for Black families. Black communities have yet to recover from the rampant foreclosures of the Great Recession. As of the first quarter of 2020, the Black homeownership rate is 44% compared to 74% for whites. This is a slight increase from the last quarter where the rate sunk to 40.6%, a level not seen since the 1960s. The looming foreclosure crisis threatens to decimate Black homeownership and destroy wealth for generations. For more information, click here.
- Housing markets are considered more or less at risk based on the percentage of homes currently facing possible foreclosure, the portion of homes with mortgage balances that exceed the estimated property value, and the percentage of local wages required to pay for major home ownership expenses. Among the top 50 counties most at risk were five of Connecticut’s eight counties including Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, Tolland, and Windham Counties. For more information, click here.
- A hearing on the lack of police action in response to a car that drove through a group of protesters will begin at 7 p.m. on July 21. The meeting will be held in the community room of the Police Department at 200 Saw Mill Road, West Haven. Those who do not wish to give testimony in person can submit their comments in writing. To read about the problems encountered by protesters and the rules for submitting testimony, click here.
What we are hearing from our clients:
- 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
Call to Action: Tenants in Connecticut are calling on Governor Lamont to stop all evictions indefinitely and cancel the obligation to pay rent. Connecticut leads the nation in income inequality, and this burden is disproportionately shouldered by Black and brown communities. 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.
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.)
- The Rent Recalculation Request tool can be accessed here in Spanish and English.
More COVID-19 resources can be found on our websitehere.
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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