As the coronavirus pandemic continues to shut down businesses, schools and institutions across the U.S., federal authorities are taking action to prevent residents from being evicted from public housing as a result of loss of income due to the outbreak.
HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson tweeted on Wednesday afternoon that the agency has spoken with every public housing authority in the country, of which there are some 3,300, urging them to protect the approximately 1.2 million households from losing their homes.
“HUD has been in contact with every Public Housing Agency in the country to ensure the millions of low-income Americans we serve continue to have a roof over their head,” Carson said. He added that HUD is working with members of Congress to get official authorization to prevent evictions within public housing.
The call for a moratorium comes at a time when many public housing authorities are already struggling to address daunting maintenance backlogs and long-overdue repairs.
The push from HUD came on the same day the government agency announced a moratorium on eviction and foreclosures for single-family homeowners within FHA-insured mortgages for the next 60 days. The guidance directs mortgage servicers to halt all new foreclosure actions and suspend all foreclosure actions currently in process and to cease all evictions of persons from FHA-insured single-family properties.
Last week, cities and states around the country began enacting eviction moratoriums in order to ease the financial burden the coronavirus pandemic has caused many renters. At the state level, Kentucky, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Delaware and New York all enacted moratoriums on residential evictions, while the cities of Los Angeles and Seattle ordered similar measures.