The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) filed an order in the Federal Register on September 1, 2020, to temporarily halt residential evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
The CDC order prohibits evictions of renters in residential housing until December 31, 2020.
- applies to virtually all rental housing providers;
- prohibits any eviction action during the covered period; and
- states that any person or organization that violates the order may be subject to up to $500,000 in fines per violation and/or jail time.
The order DOES NOT:
- prevent evictions based on the lawful reasons articulated in the order;
- prevent housing providers from charging late fees and penalties; and
- eliminate the resident’s obligations under the lease,
For renters to be eligible for the order’s protections, they must provide a declaration under penalty of perjury to their housing provider indicating the following:
- The individual has used best efforts to obtain rental assistance;
- The individual expects to earn no more than $99,000 (no more than $198,000 when filing jointly); was not required to report income in 2019 to the IRS; or received a stimulus check pursuant to the CARES Act;
- The individual is unable to pay their full rent due to a number of factors that remain unconnected to COVID-19;
- The individual is using best efforts to make timely partial payments; and
- Eviction would likely render the individual homeless or force the individual to move into and live in close quarters in a new congregate or shared living setting because the individual has no other available housing options.
AATC members can help elevate the need for this eviction moratorium by using the below link to contact their Congress members and urging them to pass a rental assistance package.
To help housing providers better understand their rights and responsibilities under the order, NAA, in partnership with the Texas Apartment Association (TAA), has prepared preliminary guidance and FAQs.
This guidance is not intended to be state-specific and should be used in conjunction with advice from local legal counsel to interpret these requirements in light of existing federal, state, and local eviction laws.
NAA and TAA are also sponsoring a free 75-minute webinar, “Understanding the CDC Eviction Moratorium,” on Thursday, September 10, at 2 p.m. CDT. The webinar features NAA Senior Vice President, Government Affairs Greg Brown, NAA Vice President, Legal Affairs and Counsel Scot Haislip, NAA Senior Staff Attorney Ayiesha Beverly, NAA Director of Public Policy Nicole Upano, TAA General Counsel Sandy Hoy, and Hoover Slovacek Equity Partner Howard Bookstaff, who will provide the latest updates on the CDC Order. Reserve your space now.
As stated above, the CDC Eviction Moratorium order states that residents seeking protection from eviction must declare to their housing provider under penalty of perjury that they have “used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing.”
To assist you and your resident, below is a list of rental assistance programs. This is not an exhaustive or comprehensive list of available rental assistance.
RENTER ASSISTANCE AND RESOURCES
State of Texas:
Texas Health and Human Services rent assistance:
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs housing assistance:
Mission Arlington: https://missionarlington.org/
West Aid: https://www.westaid.org/
United Way – Tarrant County: https://www.unitedwaytarrant.org/
Cornerstone Assistance Network: http://www.canetwork.org/home.aspx
Fort Worth Catholic Charities: https://www.catholiccharitiesfortworth.org/
Texas Comprehensive Utility Assistance Program: https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/1579
Public Utility Commission utility assistance: https://www.puc.texas.gov/consumer/lowincome/assistance.aspx