President Biden unveiled the “American Rescue Plan,” a $1.9 trillion proposal to address the COVID-19 crisis.
The plan extends the federal eviction and foreclosure moratorium through the end of September 2021. Much of the plan requires Congressional approval. Instead of waiting for Congress to pass the larger plan, President Biden appealed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to immediately extend the federal eviction moratorium until at least March 31, 2021. In response, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, announced that the CDC will be extending the current order temporarily halting residential evictions until at least March 31, 2021. The current eviction moratorium was set to expire on January 31, 2021.
In response to the public health emergency resulting from the Coronavirus, U.S. Congress passed the Emergency Rental Assistance Act of 2020 (the “Act”) to provide emergency rental assistance under the Emergency Solutions Grants program of the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The program will provide $1.4 billion in emergency rental assistance to Floridians. While final allocations have not been released, it is anticipated that more than $850 million will be administered by the State of Florida.
An application for assistance under the Act may be submitted by either an eligible household or by a landlord on behalf of that eligible household. In general, funds will be paid directly to landlords, but if a landlord does not wish to participate, funds may be paid directly to the eligible household.
For more information about the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, visit the following link: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares/emergency-rental-assistance-program
In Florida, it appears that most of the funds will be distributed through the local State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) offices.
For more information about the SHIP office in your area, access the following Florida Housing Finance Corporation link: https://www.floridahousing.org/programs/special-programs/ship—state-housing-initiatives-partnership-program/local-government-information