Affordable Housing Online is monitoring the federal government's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. As of March 13, 2020, Public Housing Agencies across the nation are closing their doors to the public. Most offices are still running and will communicate by phone, email, or mail. Some offices have drop boxes installed outside, so documents can still be hand-delivered. Visit the housing authority's website for the latest on its current operations, if one is available. If there is no information online, contact the housing authority directly. Due to a high volume of calls and modified office hours in most areas, expect a long wait time (days or weeks) for a response. To find your local PHA's contact info, browse by state here.

An extensive list of coronavirus resources for low-income households can be found here.

If I don't pay my rent during a pandemic eviction moratorium, will I owe the rent when the coronavirus pandemic is over?

Answer

Most likely yes, and you would risk getting evicted if you do not pay. Even though there are suspensions of evictions during the COVID-19 outbreak, no federal legislation has been passed that would prevent renters from having to pay back owed rent.

Your best move right now is to contact your landlord as soon as possible and try to work out a payment plan or if you can pay something, ask if a partial payment would be acceptable. Also, re-read your lease and review what it states about missed rent payments.

There proposals being made in Congress to help renters avoid eviction when the pandemic is over. One bill, the Emergency Rental Assistance Act of 2020, would let more households qualify for a government program that gives emergency short-term rental assistance, called Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG). However, no such legislation has been passed yet.

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More FAQs from Low Income Households

  • Can I be evicted if I can't pay rent because of coronavirus?
  • Are housing authorities still open during the coronavirus outbreak?
  • Do I have to do anything if I’m on a rental subsidy program and become unemployed or lose hours from coronavirus?
  • What is the government stimulus payment?
  • Who qualifies for the government stimulus payment?