BROADCAST EMAIL – Regulatory Update
The Trump Administration, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last night issued a sweeping Agency Order (Order) preventing all residential landlords in the United States from evicting any resident for the duration of the COVID-19, at least until December 31, 2020. American Samoa is exempted because there have been no cases there. (9/4/2020 – UPDATE: Federal Register Notice.
This is an Order, not a regulation. It asserts rule making procedures do not apply. This Order does not displace more restrictive state and local prohibitions. The Order is issued under the CDC’s statutory authority to issue regulations for isolating sick individuals. Additionally, the Order uses the regulation promulgated under that law to “take such measures to prevent such spread of the diseases as he/she deems reasonably necessary, including inspection, fumigation, disinfection, sanitation, pest extermination, and destruction of animals or articles believed to be sources of infection.”
The Order does not preclude charging or collecting fees, penalties, or interest as a result of the failure to pay rent. While the Order is sweeping, it also allows evictions for criminal activities on the premises, threatening the health or safety of other residents, damaging property or violating other codes or contractual obligations.
Note, protected persons mean not only the tenant but any resident of a residential property who presents an unverified certification in the form attached to the Order that the person cannot pay the rent, cannot find government assistance, that eviction would likely render them homeless, and they are under certain income limits ($99,000 in 2020 ($198,000 if filing a joint tax return), were not required to report any income in 2019, or received a CARES Act Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check)).
The Order also states it will be enforced with criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment for housing providers that do not comply.
The Order will become effective as of the date published in the Federal Register (scheduled for September 4th), unless it is extended, modified, or rescinded. It is similar in many respects to the provisions of the CARES Act.
As a reminder, Owners can apply to HUD for CARES Act funding not already spent. Click here for more information. Due to this latest action, it is important that CARH members continue to contact their members of Congress and ask that any legislation dealing with the coronavirus pandemic including funding for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development (RD) Section 521 program. We continue to ask for $309 million which would provide funding for both current RA residents as well as non-RA residents.
Please contact the CARH national office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-837-9001 should you have questions or concerns.