Millions of Americans have fallen behind on their rent in the course of the pandemic, and had it not been for the federal eviction ban put into place in 2020, many would’ve lost their homes. After months of extensions, that initial eviction ban was allowed to expire on July 31, and once that happened, many renters feared the worst.
But now, there’s a new CDC eviction ban in place through Oct. 3, and while it’s not quite as comprehensive as the last eviction ban, it applies to an estimated 90% of the U.S. population for now. If you’re behind on your rent, here’s how to know if you’re covered under the new ban.
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Who’s eligible for more relief?
The new eviction ban applies to renters who live in areas with a substantial or high level of COVID-19 transmission. To see if your area applies, check the CDC’s website.
Keep in mind, though, that your eligibility could change based on how transmission rates in your area evolve. If transmission drops, your area may no longer qualify for protection, and while that would be a good thing from a health standpoint, it could leave you in the lurch financially. A good bet is to check the CDC’s website weekly to see where things stand in your area.
Additionally, you’ll need to meet the income requirements that were put in place under the previous ban to be protected from eviction under the new ban. That means your income must be under $99,000 this year. Furthermore, you’ll need to attest to a financial hardship that’s keeping you from paying rent, or you’ll need to attest to the fact that getting evicted could lead to you becoming homeless.
Apply for rental assistance
While you may be covered temporarily by the latest eviction ban, that coverage won’t last forever. The ban itself is only scheduled to last 60 days, and if COVID-19 rates drop where you live, you’ll lose your eligibility.
That’s why your best bet is to apply for rental assistance if you haven’t done so already. The National Low Income Housing Coalition maintains a list of programs giving out rent relief. You can search for programs in your state and apply directly.
It’s important that you apply for rental assistance as soon as possible because depending on the state you live in, you may be protected from getting evicted on the basis of having a pending claim. And also, the sooner you apply, the greater your chances of getting your application processed before the current ban expires in early October.
It’s also important to know whether your city or state has its own eviction ban in place. In New Jersey, for example, renters who are behind on their housing payments are protected from eviction through the end of the year.
Know your rights
Many people’s finances took a major hit during the pandemic, to the point where they depleted their savings and now have no money to tap for emergencies. If you’re still behind on your rent, it’s important that you know what protections you’re entitled to under the new eviction ban. And if your landlord tries to pursue an eviction, don’t hesitate to seek out the advice of an attorney who can help you determine how to respond. You can visit LawHelp.org for access to low-cost legal aid.
View more information: https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/personal-finance/articles/do-you-qualify-for-the-new-eviction-ban-heres-how-to-know/