National Eviction Moratorium Ends Next Week: Action Steps for the HCH Community
July 22, 2021
The federal eviction moratorium, which expires on October 3, 2021, was implemented to prevent housing instability from contributing to the spread of COVID-19 and has been reinstated five times. The Biden administration does not plan to extend the federal moratorium further and instead is promoting available federal rental assistance funds. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of these emergency resources and may not be able to avoid eviction.
Here is what the HCH community must do in light of the federal moratorium ending:
Identify and advocate for state and local eviction protections
Some states, cities, and counties have implemented eviction protections for tenants. See a tracker of local eviction moratoria policies here and here. Many states have also invested in right-to-counsel programs for tenants facing evictions — see policies here by sorting Right to Counsel Status -> Housing- Evictions). If protections aren’t available (or aren’t working for your clients), call on your local officials and Governor to make changes and implement a moratorium.
Connect clients/consumers to services and cash resources
As the moratorium ends, prepare for increasing instability for clients and a possible influx of people who are newly homeless. Unfortunately, many HCH programs are still at decreased capacity due to COVID-19, which may diminish the ability to respond to new demands for care. Additionally, HCH staff should know about opportunities for financial relief available to clients and how to access them. See the latest information on how to benefit from rental assistance and other cash programs. Note our partners at the National Low Income Housing Coalition are tracking in-depth information on available rental assistance. Questions about benefits for consumers can be sent to email@example.com.
Speak out about the health implications of evictions and poverty
As providers on the front lines, the HCH community understands that “housing is health care.” NOW is the time to talk about this and share stories with all who will listen. Talk with your elected officials as well as community partners about the structural changes needed in housing services and how evictions will impact your ability to deliver care. Writing an op-ed is an excellent way to send a public message about the importance of ending homelessness and preventing evictions. Use these examples from Baltimore’s Health Care for the Homeless in the Baltimore Sun, and Philadelphia’s Project HOME in the Billy Penn. Our collective advocacy is needed now if we are to prevent a new wave of homelessness.
For more information, contact Regina Reed, MPH, Policy Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-703-1337.