WASHINGTON – The Biden administration is trying to prevent evictions from public housing for non-payment of rent, seeking to strengthen protections after the end of the national moratorium on evictions.
Under a new rule from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, tenants in HUD-subsidized public housing cannot be evicted for non-payment without providing them with 30 days notice and information about federal aid emergency rent available. The rule is expected to be published Thursday in the Federal Register.
Technically, the rule would go into effect 30 days after its publication, but a senior HUD official told The Associated Press that public housing authorities across the country must comply immediately. The official, who was not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the rule change was due to significant concern over a looming wave of evictions as affairs began to unravel. way to court.
In an official statement due for release on Wednesday, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge called the change “an important step in making tenants aware of the availability of funds that can help them pay overdue rents and give them more. time to access relief that could prevent deportation. entirely.”
The elements of the new rule are not new. The 30-day notice requirement is part of the original COVID-19 relief program. But the change will come with specific advice for housing authorities on how to direct tenants to the billions of dollars in emergency rent assistance available. It is also designed to give these funds extra time to work their way through the system.
In addition to residents of public housing, the rule change will apply to those living in project-based rental assistance properties – a program by which private for-profit or non-profit landlords contract with the HUD to provide affordable housing. In total, HUD estimates that the change will affect 4.1 million people.
Officials in the Biden administration have complained in the past that rent assistance funds were hampered by bureaucracy at the state and local levels. The senior HUD official said the dispersal of funds went a bit slower than officials had hoped.
The federal moratorium, a response to the coronavirus pandemic, expired in late August and Congress did not extend it. As the federal government now focuses on injecting money into rental assistance programs, the national moratorium has turned into a patchwork of localized bans, in places like Washington State, Boston and New York State – all expiring at different times.
The senior HUD official said one of the main goals of the change was to bring all jurisdictions under one banner.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.