What to Do if You Are Facing Eviction During COVID-19
Housing is a basic need for everyone, providing shelter, safety, and security. Whether you are paying a mortgage or rent, housing expenses can be a major percentage of your household budget. When your income is reduced and you are faced with making decisions about how to meet your financial obligations, housing is a top priority.
How Does the Eviction Ban Affect Me?
The ban on evictions for certain renters has been extended through April 30, 2021. You will need to complete a declaration form indicating which eligibility requirements you meet. You may still be required to pay the rent due. This order protects you from eviction if you are not able to pay rent, not for any other rental violations.
What Steps Should I Take If I’m Facing Eviction?
If you are struggling to pay your rent, address the situation now. Don’t wait until you receive an eviction notice. Contact the landlord as soon as possible to discuss the situation. Be honest about your financial situation and explain how the loss of housing will impact your family. Have a plan before talking to the landlord. The plan should include resources you have, a suggested payment arrangement, and the length of time you would like to implement the arrangement. Maintain an open dialogue so you can find a solution that is agreeable to both you and your landlord. Keep a written record of the meeting and the decision that was made.
Resources That Can Help If You’re Facing Eviction
Facing eviction can be a very stressful event and may lead to additional financial issues. For you and your family’s safety, adequate housing is essential. Here are resources to help you.
- Rental Assistance – There may be programs near you that can help with rental assistance or community services. Find the one nearest you.
- Housing Counselors – You can also find a HUD-approved housing counselor in your area to discuss options for paying rent.
- Legal Assistance – Lawyers may be able to assist you in learning about your legal rights and actions you can take. Find your local Legal Aid office.
- Consumer Finance Protection Bureau – The CFPB provides resources to manage your finances, including more information on rental and mortgage assistance, student loans, and small businesses.
- Credit Counselors – Credit counselors from non-profit organizations can provide advice to help manage your finances.
Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head is an Accredited Financial Counselor® with over 12 years of experience teaching individuals and families about personal finance topics. She has taught all ages, from middle school to older adults. Lorna likes to work with individuals and families to help them become more confident in making financial decisions.