The Biden administration announced a new moratorium that will cover renters living in communities experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases and be in effect until October 3.
This win is due solely to the bold action of Rep. Cori Bush, and I was grateful to witness her courage first hand and protest in solidarity with her. But even Rep. Bush knows that this eviction crisis is far from over. And October 3rd will be here before we know it and local protections continue to have the most impact.
States and local governments must work to get rental relief dollars out as quickly as possible AND also implement and advocate for eviction diversion tactics.
Here’s what you can do in your locality:
Rental relief and assistance
- Implement emergency rental assistance, which can be funded using ARP funds. Packages should be coupled with additional renter protections, like those in St. Paul’s groundbreaking tenant protection package. NLIHC has also outlined best practices here.
- Establish a navigator program for accessing renter relief & eviction protections. Cities and counties in Maryland, Nevada and Pennsylvania are working with community based organizations to help tenants access rental relief. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also has a new tool to help tenants apply for rental relief.
- Extend local and state eviction moratoriums. In many states and localities, eviction moratoriums remain in effect — including in Illinois, Maryland, California, and New York. It’s critical that localities enact local moratoriums that are stronger than the CDC’s.
- Create an eviction diversion program that mandates mediation and participation in rental assistance programs. A good example of this approach is Philadelphia’s mandatory eviction diversion program.
- Pass good cause eviction laws, like the one recently passed in Albany, NY.
- Establish a right to counsel in eviction cases.
Our strength is in our shared knowledge. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Local Progress team if you have questions.