The US House of Representatives passed a Corona virus emergency relief package on Friday evening with the President’s support.
The bill includes:
– Free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured.
– Two weeks of guaranteed paid sick leave, as well as increased family leave.
– Increased support for unemployment benefits.
– Strengthened programs that provide school lunches for students who rely on them; and
– A bump in Medicaid funding.
The US Senate is expected to act on the package next week.
The bill does not include requested supports for people experiencing homelessness, including emergency rental assistance, eviction prevention, and resources for homeless service providers. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated, however, that other bills are now being drafted to respond to the pandemic.
Below you will find updates on the Covid-19/Coronavirus Pandemic and its effect on housing and homelessness. This information is also available on the NLIHC website.
We encourage all HANH members and housing advocates to register for the national webinar scheduled for this coming Monday, March 16, at 2:30pm.
The call will feature field updates from impacted communities, Congressional and federal agency staff, and experts focused on the unique needs of people experiencing homelessness, the lowest-income renters, people with disabilities, undocumented people, and tribal nations.
Additional updates below.
The President announced a national emergency declaration, freeing up over $50 billion from the Disaster Relief Fund to be used to combat the epidemic.
FEMA announced that they would be allowing reimbursement under its Public Assistance Program for activities including emergency protective measures, National Guard costs, and other measures necessary to protect public health and safety. The FEMA assistance will be provided at a 75% Federal cost share.
An article from the Brookings Institute covered ways in which homeless populations and individuals living in substandard or unaffordable housing are uniquely susceptible to an epidemic.
Novogradic Consulting has a new blog post with policies from state allocating agencies.
The National MultiFamily Housing Council called on lawmakers to provide direct financial assistance to renters.
The Coalition on Human Needs sent a letter to the Senate asking for swift action on housing, healthcare, and economic needs for low-income Americans.
The State of California’s Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency released guidance for homeless assistance providers for dealing with COVID-19.
The state of Connecticut moved to prevent any utility shutoffs for the duration of the public health emergency put in place by Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont.
The Delaware Justice of the Peace has postponed all landlord/tenant proceedings until after May 1.
Kentucky Courts cancelled evictions proceedings until April 10.
Lawmakers and officials in Massachusetts are calling for measures to prevent housing evictions as COVID-19 spreads in the region.
Pressure is mounting on the Oregon government to enact an eviction ban as COVID-19 continues to spread in the state.
The Boston Housing Authority notified the state Housing Court Thursday that it will not pursue “non-essential eviction actions” for as long as Governor Charlie Baker’s declared state of emergency lasts.
The Miami-Dade Police Department announced that it would be halting all evictions following an emergency declaration.
Judges in New Orleans announced that they would be halting all pending evictions until the end of April.
Resolutions were introduced in the Philadelphia City Council calling for a halt on evictions as well as protections to prevent utility shutoffs during the outbreak. The Council does not have the power to perform these actions, but the resolution puts pressure on both the local Sherriff’s office and local utilities to comply.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said that he supported a ban on evictions and rent increases during the public health crisis. However, there have been no moves to push those ideas through the City Council.
The San Jose City Council approved a proposal to prevent evictions while the Coronavirus emergency is occurring. The California Apartment Association said that they would support a commonsense moratorium on evictions. The moratorium would take effect upon passage and remain in effect for 30 days with the possibility of extensions.
Seattle is also halting any power or water shut-off’s due to nonpayment during the city’s coronavirus emergency.
DC City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson introduced a measure banning evictions in the city.
Department of Housing and Urban Development:
Infectious Disease Preparedness for Homeless Assistance Providers and Their Partners
Office of Multifamily Housing Covid-19 Q&A
Using CoC Program Funds for Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response
US Interagency Council on Homelessness: