Thousands of evictions loom nationwide as the CDC will end its moratorium on evictions on July 31st. Now, a race against the clock to make sure those who need housing assistance get it in time. States are rushing to hand out $47 billion allocated by Congress for emergency rental assistance. In comparison, the allocation is more than the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development’s annual budget.
Moreover, housing advocates blame the rush on a slow rollout of money from the Treasury Department under the Trump Administration. Many say the department was slow to respond on how agents could spend the money. Now, the criteria is more clear under the Biden Administration. However, housing advocates say the process for assistance is still more of a burden than a tool to help families.
The Associated Press reports only 350,000 households received $1.5 billion at the end of May. That’s less than 4% of the total money allocated to help families. Missouri Representative Cori Bush reports receiving calls from families who don’t know how to apply or are confused on the application process. “It’s unconscionable that millions of dollars are sitting in the state’s bank account, while families across Missouri are struggling to stay in their homes,” says Bush.
Eviction Help in Virginia & Connecticut
In Virginia, the capital city of Richmond, says it is preparing to evict residents for the first time in nearly two years. WTVR-TV reports more than 800 residents in the city’s public housing authority entered into repayment plans to catch up on unpaid rent. In this case, more than 700 of those residents are behind on the agreements. Anyone who needs assistance in the Commonwealth of Virginia can start here.
Further north, thousands also face eviction in Connecticut. However, Governor Ned Lamont is pressuring landlords to use more than $400 million in COVID-19 pandemic relief funds to cover unpaid rent. Similarly, Lamont extended the eviction appeal period for tenants from three to 30 days. The executive order also requires landlords to file for federal relief through UniteCT before evicting anyone. “We’ve got the resources. We can help put together a deal, help people stay in their homes, and make sure that landlords get paid, which they need in order to pay their bills,” said Lamont.
Eviction Help in Alabama & Mississippi
Evictions aren’t just a problem for the Mid-atlantic and Northeast. Thousands are also in danger of losing their homes in the South. In Alabama, the state is using millions in CARES Act funds to help with rental assistance. However, groups like Alabama Arise told WBMA-TV, they are worried evictions will still add to the homeless population. “There are a lot of people who have only been kept in housing by virtue of this moratorium and they’re going to lose that safety net,” says Dev Wakeley of Alabama Arise. Landlords and renters can apply for assistance in Alabama here.
Things aren’t much better for residents next door in the state of Mississippi. NBC News reports the state and its two most-populated counties, received $200 million to help protect against evictions. However, most of the money is still in the bank and there are disparencies in who is getting the help. Those who need rental assistance in Mississippi can apply here.
Help for those across the nation
If you need help and didn’t find your state listed above, don’t worry help is also available to you. The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development is offering assistance to those in need. Click here for more on rental assistance, housing vouchers, and housing choice.
Finally, Navigate Affordable Housing Partners is also working to help those in need. We fight for quality, livable housing choice for all. We have compiled a list of resources for those needing financial assistance due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. Click here to see what help may be available to you in the areas mentioned above as well as around the country.