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HUD Changes Rules in Evictions for Non-Payment of Rent

On October 7, 2021, HUD published an interim final rule titled “Extension of Time and Required Disclosures for Notification of Nonpayment of Rent,” which applies to public housing and properties with project-based rental assistance (PBRA)  during Presidentially-declared national emergencies.

The Purpose of HUD’s Eviction Rule

The purpose of this rule is to ensure that tenants who are facing eviction for non-payment of rent in a national emergency are granted additional time to secure federal emergency rental assistance.  Additionally, this rule requires that PHAs and PBRA housing providers distribute information regarding federal funding that is available due to a national emergency when issuing a notice for non-payment of rent.

In a national emergency, many households find themselves faced with the inability to pay their rent. While there are federal programs to provide emergency rental assistance, in many circumstances, families may not know such programs exist. Moreover, even once they receive information on the available assistance, it is often not feasible for the household to apply for and receive emergency rental assistance within the cure period provided by the housing provider.

Additionally, the notice states that increased evictions run counter to HUD’s mission,

“Increases in evictions frustrates HUD’s programmatic efficiency. It diverts resources to cover the costs of unnecessary evictions. Increased homelessness also makes it more difficult for HUD to provide services to the population that qualifies for HUD’s programs. People experiencing homelessness are less likely to receive information about HUD’s programs and to avail themselves of those programs. Accordingly, by reducing evictions, this rulemaking advances HUD’s statutory purposes..”

Necessary Actions for Housing Providers

This rule requires specific actions that public housing authorities (PHAs) and PBRA housing providers must take during national emergencies when terminating a tenancy for non-payment of rent:

  • PHAs and PBRA housing providers must provide tenants with information about federal emergency rental assistance funding made available due to the national emergency. In such national emergencies, HUD will issue a notice that will provide PHAs and PBRA housing providers information to residents.
  • PHAs and PBRA housing providers must extend the lease term effective date for non-payment of rent to a minimum of 30 days from the notice date providing this information.
  • PHAs Only – PHA must provide notice to all tenants of the availability of emergency rental assistance.

HUD encourages housing providers to work with tenants eligible for emergency rental assistance (ERA) funding and delay lease terminations for any tenants whose application for ERA assistance is still pending after the 30 days. These assistance programs can only achieve their intended purposes if enough time is granted to households earnestly doing their part in the funding application process to receive the assistance.

The interim final rule does not require the amending of model leases to reflect these provisions; however, we recommend that housing providers update policy and procedures to reflect this rule and notify all appropriate staff members when such provisions take effect.

Effective Date of Interim Eviction Rule

This interim final rule will take effect on 11/8/2021.

Note: Under HUD’s regulations for rulemaking, HUD is required to publish a rule for public comment before issuing a rule for effect; however, exceptions are provided if HUD determines there is good cause to bypass the advance notice and public comment period.

Due to the number of households eligible for ERA funds currently facing eviction for non-payment of rent, HUD determined an exigent need not delay the rule’s effective date further and bypassed the proposed rule phase.

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