- The Supreme Court rejected the current federal eviction ban Thursday, Aug. 26, allowing evictions to restart in the U.S.
- $46 billion in rental assistance is available through state and local programs
- Some states and localities have their own eviction protections in place while rental assistance is distributed. Contact your local government or nonprofit housing organizations to see if you’re protected
The Supreme Court on Thursday ended the most recent eviction moratorium issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — reopening the threat of eviction for millions of U.S. renters.
When the current eviction ban was announced earlier this month, President Joe Biden acknowledged it could face challenges in court, but at least bought some more time to distribute relief funds intended for renters and landlords.
Now, nearly 8 million households that are behind on rent face a new risk of eviction, according to U.S. Census data. Congress has previously approved over $46 billion for rental assistance programs, but only $5.1 billion has reached those in need to date, according to a release by the U.S. Treasury Department.
“State and local governments are working to improve programs to distribute emergency rental assistance to those in need, but they need more time,” National Low Income Housing Coalition CEO Diane Yentel said in a Thursday statement “The Supreme Court’s decision will lead to many renters, predominantly people of color, losing their homes before the assistance can reach them.”
If you are a renter impacted by the cancellation of the eviction ban, here’s what you need to know about where to find assistance.
How to Find Rental Assistance Programs
As part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan that were enacted earlier this year, the federal government set aside over $46 billion dollars in rental aid under the Emergency Rental Assistance program (ERA). This money is being distributed through a network of state and local programs. You can find a local organization by searching one of these databases:
- National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) database
- U.S. Department of Treasury database
- Consumer Finance Protection Bureau database
It’s a good idea to reach out to your landlord to discuss your situation while you’re in the process of applying for rental assistance. You may be able to work out a repayment plan and your landlord may be able to assist you in filing for ERA benefits. You can also contact a local HUD-approved housing counselor for help in understanding your options for applying for assistance.
Other Resources for Renters
The eviction process can be complicated and the laws surrounding it differ from state to state and city to city. Whether you’re in the middle of an eviction or could be soon, having expert legal advice will help you understand your rights. You can find free legal help in your area through these organizations:
- The Legal Services Corporation (LSC)
- The American Bar Association (pro bono resource directory)
Some of these organizations may have income limits for their services.
Outside of rental and legal assistance, you may qualify for other types of financial assistance for food, utilities, and health care costs. To connect with local organizations, call 2-1-1, a 24/7 hotline set up to connect those in need with the right programs.
Other Eviction Moratoria Are Still In Effect
While the nationwide eviction moratorium has been struck down, some states, counties, and cities have their own eviction bans in place.
Also, landlords with multifamily loans (5+ unit properties) backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are prohibited from evicting tenants for nonpayment through Sept. 30, 2021, if the property’s mortgage is in forbearance. You can find out if your building’s mortgage is backed by one of these organizations online:
Contact your local and state government’s housing agency or reach out to a local HUD-approved housing counselor to learn more about what eviction protections you may be covered by.