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Posts Tagged ‘Rental Assistance’

Updated resources for Preventing Eviction

Written by admin on . Posted in Blog

The pandemic has caused great disruption in our economy. But even before COVID started to spread across the world, decades of institutional racism had caused racially-based inequity in housing, education, employment, criminal justice, civil rights and health care. It is this underlying discrimination, plus ongoing political inaction to address the root causes of homelessness, that has left the U.S. with a situation where our emergency housing systems are in no way capable of assisting millions of households that may become homeless.

Our systems are already overwhelmed – We do not need another big wave of homelessness!

State and Local Guide to getting help

Read more about the current situation and need for rental assistance during the ongoing pandemic economic downturn:

Legal and Institutional Resources:

State and City Rental Assistance Examples:

End of the CDC Eviction Moratorium is an Emergency that must be Addressed!

Written by admin on . Posted in Press Releases

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The National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) and the National Organization for Women (NOW), along with advocates, tenants, and community leaders will gather in late October, in Washington, DC, and communities across the country to push for the prevention of anyone falling into homelessness.

National Organization for Women and National Coalition for the Homeless call for addressing the emergency of evictions

“The homeless social service sector cannot accommodate any more people during this national health emergency with rising levels of COVID-19 in many communities. There are millions of dollars sitting on the table from the federal government and we need state and local officials to move mountains to get rental assistance out to those facing evictions,” said NCH executive director Donald Whitehead.  

In August, CNBC reported 11 million households are behind on their rent, but even if only 1 million get evicted the homeless shelters and services will collapse. Whitehead said that shelters have had to de-concentrate due to the pandemic and do not have the means of taking more people in to provide a safe place to stay while they look to find other housing options.  

We are urging the Governors to do whatever they can to stop any evictions into homelessness or they will see the huge rise in those living outside that Washington DC, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Miami, Austin, and Phoenix have seen over the last year.  

The Problem

As of Thursday, August 26, 2021, the federal moratorium on evictions related to COVID was lifted. As many as 35 million people in the United States, whose livelihoods have been negatively impacted by pandemic-related economic shut down, are at risk of homelessness. 

What’s more, there are hundreds of thousands of people and families who were placed into hotel rooms with CARES Act funding that is due to expire. Many of these folks will be forced back onto the streets, and into congregate shelters, with desperately increased risk of contracting COVID.

This is a massive economic and public health crisis, disproportionately affecting people of color. We must protect individuals and families – and especially our children and youth.

What we Know

Without safe housing, millions of people will be forced into congregate settings, increasing the risk of transmitting COVID-19, at a time when hospitals are operating at capacity.  

Lack of capacity at the state and local level, combined with bureaucratic red tape, has prevented up to 75% of aid from the Federal government from reaching renters and desperate to maintain their housing. 

Even though it is illegal, there is the danger that families forced back into homelessness risk losing custody of their children. Studies have shown overwhelmingly that safe housing has more to do with a child’s wellbeing and achievement than any other single factor. 

People who are unhoused face targeted enforcement and criminalization of life-sustaining activities. This over-criminalization separates families, eliminates employment options and further jeopardizes the mental and physical health of those affected.

What has been done

Through the CARES Act and the American Recovery Plan, the federal government has allocated over $85 Billion to housing and homelessness programs, including $25 billion specifically for Emergency Housing Vouchers. Many communities have used these recovery dollars to house folks temporarily in hotel and motel rooms, and further secure individual housing accommodations. But many of these programs are closing and people are being returned to congregate shelters or the streets.

The U.S. Treasury has provided explicit direction to local agencies distributing funds to allow renters and landlords to attest to their need without onerous documentation. The U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA), Health and Human Services (HHS), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Veterans Affairs (VA) have also taken action to protect and support vulnerable renter households. The Secretaries of HUD and Treasury, along with the Attorney General, wrote a letter to governors, mayors, county Executives, and chief Justices and state court administrators to issue their own moratoria, stay evictions while rental assistance applications process, and use ERA and State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to enhance tenant access to legal representation. 

But we know that landlords and eviction courts are eager to start processing evictions that have been held up. We know too that without legal representation, tenants overwhelmingly are not able to exercise their full rights to remain in housing.

What we Need

NOW and NCH are urging local and state elected officials to assign additional staff, enlist every housing non-profit in their communities to get this money to the people in need! Additionally, struggling Americans need:

  • Congress to pass legislation halting any eviction until ERA and Recovery applications are fully processed. 
  • Emergency Rental Assistance and other recovery programs should assume presumptive eligibility, instead of forcing long drawn out documentation of need. 
  • Landlords should get paid all back rent, either through direct payment and/or tax credit within 30 days.
  • There needs to be broad civic education on renter rights and eviction and homelessness prevention, in addition to ending and addressing the underlying causes of poverty and homelessness.

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The National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH), founded in 1981, is the oldest national organization focused on ending homelessness in America.  It is a national network of people currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, activists and advocates, community-based and faith-based service providers, and others committed to their mission of: To end and prevent homelessness while ensuring the immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness are met and their civil rights protected. NCH’s advocacy addresses the root causes of homelessness including lack of affordable housing, and partnering to write landmark legislation including the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987. 


The National Organization for Women is the largest grassroots organization of feminist activists in the United States. NOW has hundreds of thousands of contributing supporters and members in chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since its founding in 1966, NOW’s purpose is to take action through intersectional grassroots activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life.

Growing Crisis in D.C.

Written by NCH Staff on . Posted in Awareness, Families, Housing, Policy Advocacy, Prevention, Shelter

Growing Crisis Takes Over D.C. – Auburn Trotter, NCH Intern

When I moved to DC to intern with NCH, I knew that I would gain a new perspective on the housing policies in America, but never did I think that the nation’s capitol would be suffering from such a crisis. In January 2014, a Point-in-Time count showed that a total of 7,748 people experienced homelessness  in the District of Columbia. This number increased 12.9%  from the previous year’s count. While cities surrounding the metropolitan area have decreased their homeless populations, the District has not seen much change. In fact, D.C.’s homeless population continues to rise at an alarming rate.

It’s important to first recognize that there are city officials who have fought hard to push forward possible solutions to this issue. It wouldn’t be fair to say that our officials haven’t done anything to try and curb this issue. Legislation has been introduced and passed. Plans to transition families from shelters to permanent homes are being strategized. Our leaders have the will to address the issue but even with these efforts the problem has continued to spiral out of control. So the lingering question becomes, why does homelessness continue to exist at a crisis level in the nation’s capital? The answer is two simple words: affordable housing!

There are many reasons that people find themselves homeless, but the lack of affordable housing remains one of the leading causes. With rents rising all around the city, what are people left to do? Some would say “go live with friends or relatives,” but a majority of the time families do not have room to accommodate others in their living space. So the next natural answer would be to report to the Public Housing Authority (PHA) and seek assistance. Thanks to the 2013 sequester and budget cuts, this has become a dead-end option. With funds being cut by 5%, PHAs across the country encounter difficulties trying to serve those in need. In fact, DC’s housing authority closed its Section 8 voucher wait list, which contained 70,000 people at the time, in April of 2013 and has not re-opened since.

After being told “NO” on several instances, the next and last resort for many people is a shelter. Many of the residents at D.C. General emergency shelter, the area’s largest family shelter, will tell you that they are thankful for the shelter and for having a roof over their heads, but it is not a place where they want to be raising a family. Many have jobs where they work long hours, just to receive a poverty level income. City officials want them to apply for assistance programs where, after their time in the program has ended, they face a rent payment of $900-$1200 depending on the size of the apartment.

Homelessness and increasing rents are serious issues that need an urgent response.  Ultimately, the homeless crisis will continue to get worse unless the city invests in sustainable, affordable housing for its residents. A strong housing policy could significantly reduce the size of our current homeless population and prevent thousands of others from losing their homes. There is no reason that we cannot decrease homelessness in our city. But we must all take action.

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