Texas Homeless Network

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CDC Announces Evictions Paused Until the End of 2020

Sweeping new federal moratorium on evictions in effect until 12/31/2020

This rule only protects people who know about it. Please circulate this post widely.

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Para leer sobre esta protección contra los desalojos en español, haga clic aquí o aquí. Firme y fecha este documento y entregue a su arrendador para protegerse contra el desalojo. THN publicará los recursos en español a medida que estén disponibles. THN recomienda enviar el documento a su arrendador por correo certificado o correo electrónico.

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic recession, the Trump administration issued an unprecedented agency order through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that effectively bans all non-criminal evictions until the end of the year to prevent the continued spread of COVID-19. This order gives necessary and overdue protections to the estimated 30 million people at-risk of eviction for non-payment of rent and the subsequent homelessness many of them would face. 

The C.D.C. argues that they have the authority to enact a nationwide moratorium under “42 CFR § 70.2 – Measures in the event of inadequate local control”. 

In order for renters to be protected, they need to sign a declaration (linked here) which declares that renters:

      • have used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing;
      • expect to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return), was not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) pursuant to Section 2201 of the CARES Act;
      • are unable to pay my full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, lay-offs, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
      • are using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses;
      • would likely become homeless, need to move into a homeless shelter, or need to move into a new residence shared by other people who live in close quarters because I have no other available housing options.

NLIHC recommends that a tenant submit the declaration using email or certified mail to their landlord. 

While the moratorium is a welcome change and will temporarily protect millions of households in Texas, there is a significant need for Congress to pass legislation for no less than $100 billion in federal emergency rental assistance. NLIHC estimated in May that Texas needs nearly $9 billion of these funds. It is certainly possible (if not likely) that these estimates need to be updated for the months of back rent now owed by renters to their landlords. 

This ruling does not protect renters from eviction for other reasons besides non-payment and renters can be taken to court for their claims to forgo payment. Late fees and other penalties may still apply. 

Without significant rental assistance, the U.S. is simply moving back eviction proceedings for tens of millions of people until December or early 2021. Housing brings stability to renters, but more importantly, housing is healthcare. 

Advocates must continue to contact their federal representatives to push for: 

      • $100 billion in emergency rental assistance
      • Sustained funding for our CoCs as we continue to respond to the growing needs of our communities
      • $1 billion in funding for 100,000 new emergency housing vouchers targeted to people who are homeless, at-risk of homelessness, or fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking

Legal Disclaimer: This information is not intended to constitute legal advice and is provided for general informational purposes only. Readers should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information on this site without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. Only an attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation. 

This piece was written in part thanks to individual donations. As THN ramps up our staff and policy education efforts ahead of the 2021 TX Legislative Session, please consider making a donation directly to our advocacy efforts today by joining our Advocates Committee.


CDC Announces Evictions Paused Until the End of 2020
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