HUD Proposes Rule to Protect Tenants from Evictions

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With the CDC’s nationwide eviction ban having expired in late August, landlords and tenants alike are wondering what’s next. In an effort to encourage landlords to steer tenants toward accessing emergency COVID-19 relief funds and ultimately avoid evictions, HUD is expected to publish a new rule on October 7 protecting tenants in HUD-subsidized public housing.

The rule states that during a pandemic, the HUD secretary can:

  • Expand the notice a covered landlord must give before such a tenant must vacate a unit from 14 days to 30 days;
  • Require landlords to provide information to the tenant regarding federal emergency rental relief along with the eviction notice; and
  • Require landlords to provide notice to all tenants in public housing of the availability of emergency rental assistance.

According to Associated Press, besides public housing residents, the rule change will apply to those living in project-based rental assistance properties — a program whereby private for-profit or nonprofit property owners enter into a contract with HUD to provide affordable housings units. HUD estimates that the rule change will affect 4.1 million people.

To date, only a quarter of $46 billion in federal relief funds has been disbursed to tenants nationwide via the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

In an official statement about the new rule, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge stated, “This rule is a significant step in raising tenant awareness about the availability of funds that can assist them with past due rent and allowing them additional time to access relief that may stave off eviction entirely. HUD will continue to review additional actions to help protect individuals through the duration of the pandemic.”

For more information about the rule, visit HUD’s website.

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