Read below for advice that every Florida renter and homeowner should know during COVID19. This guide has been updated on October 17, 2021.
CDC EVICTION MORATORIUM EXTENDED BUT ENDED BY COURT DECISION
- CDC is issuing a new order temporarily halting evictions in counties with heightened levels of community transmission in order to respond to recent, unexpected developments in the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the rise of the Delta variant.
- However, on August 26, 2021 the Supreme Court of the United States blocked the Biden administration’s Covid-related eviction moratorium.
- So now, there is no moratorium in place. Learn your rights when faced with an eviction here: http://communityjusticeproject.com/eviction
RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS:
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) debuted a new tool (www.consumerfinance.gov/renthelp) that allows landlords and renters to find rental assistance programs in their area.
- Orange County Rental Assistance: Click here to learn more
- City of Orlando: Their rental assistance program will be available soon.
- State of Florida, OUR FLORIDA: Click here to learn more
- Please contact your local County Commissioner and/or City Commissioner to see what rental assistance programs may be available AND/OR visit www.consumerfinance.gov/renthelp
WHAT TO DO IF YOU FACE AN EVICTION OR FORECLOSURE?:
- See a step-by-step guide from Community Action Project here: http://communityjusticeproject.com/eviction
- Contact a local Legal Aid organization. It’s important to have legal representation when you are facing an eviction or foreclosure. More legal aid options are listed below, too.
- For foreclosures, most homeowners can temporarily pause or reduce their mortgage payments if they’re struggling financially. Click here to read more.
- Click here to read more about what people with federally backed mortgages can do. We are expecting federal financial support for Mortgage Assistance to be made available soon, too.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS:
It is SO important that you know your rights as a tenant. Despite no state or federal moratorium, there are still some federal protections for renters (and homeowners) provided under the CARES Act.
COMMUNICATE TO YOUR LANDLORD:
Always express to your landlord the efforts you are making to pay rent. Explain to them the broken unemployment system, and the delay in receiving rental assistance. Ask if they sought forbearance from their mortgage, and/or see if a payment plan can be crafted. Also confirm if the mortgage is federally-backed, or if the apartment was constructed via low-income housing tax credits. Sometimes that can offer additional protections.
SEEK LEGAL SUPPORT:
If you are facing an eviction or foreclosure, please seek leal support. Below are pro-bono options.
You can also call Florida Bar lawyer referral at (800) 342- 8011 or locally to the Orange County Bar association lawyer referral at (407) 422–4551 for lease issues.
HOMELESS AND/OR PRECARIOUSLY HOUSED
Many Central Floridians live in hotels or find themselves homeless. Here are a list of resources to consider if you and/or your family are in this situation.
- Call 211 for an assessment to be conducted, more here: https://www.211.org/
- Central Florida Commission on Homelessness: https://www.cfch.org/
- Visit a Community CES HUB or Access Site to speak with someone about eligibility for housing programs.
- Locations Here: https://www.cfch.org/get-help/
- Homeless Services Network: https://www.hsncfl.org/
- Coalition For The Homeless: https://www.centralfloridahomeless.org/
- Salvation Army: https://salvationarmyflorida.org/orlando/
- HOPE Team: https://hcch.org/homeless%20outreach.htm
- Pathways To Home: https://www.pathwaystohome.org/apply-for-help/
Precariously Housed (Living in Hotel or Motel)
- Hope Partnership: https://www.thehopepartnership.org/
- Community Resource Network:https://www.communityresourcenetwork.com/
- Family Promise of Greater Orlando: https://familypromiseorlando.org/what-we-do/
- Matthew’s Hope: https://www.matthewshopeministries.org/home
If you are a Floridian who lives in one of our motels or hotels facing eviction, please visit this link to know your rights and seek pro-bono legal support.
DETAILS OF AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN:
- President Biden signed into law on March 11 the American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package with nearly $50 billion in essential housing and homelessness assistance, including $27.4 billion for rental assistance and $5 billion to assist people experiencing homelessness. The programs discussed above are funded by the American Rescue Plan.
- Read NLIHC’s analysis of the housing and homelessness provisions in the bill at: https://tinyurl.com/hh8sdjsy
- The plan also includes the Homeowner Assistance Fund which you can read more about here.
- If you are at least one month behind in rent and live in Orange County you may be eligible for the County’s Rental Assistance Program. Note that if you live in the City of Orlando, you will have to wait till their rental assistance program is available and are not eligible for Orange County’s program. Click here for Orange County’s Program, click here for Orlando’s program.
- Florida Dept. of Children/Families also launched new OURFlorida program for rental/utility assistance funded by the federal government. Learn more here: OURFlorida.com