In response to COVID, Congress passed the $3 trillion CARES Act in 2020 and the American Recovery Act in 2021 including a National Eviction Moratorium for non-payment of rent plus $70 billion for emergency rent relief. President Biden has also proposed a $2.3 trillion American Jobs Act and $2 trillion American Families Act, including “Housing as Infrastructure” and an increase in Section 8 Vouchers. Learn more about these federal recovery programs here!
In recent years, HUD tenants have been subjected to new, often intrusive “recertification” and cross checking of government databases by the EIV system mandated by HUD. Under COVID, HUD has streamlined and relaxed rules on Interim and Annual Recertifications to make it easier for Section 8 and Public Housing tenants who have lost their jobs to get a reduced rent. Learn about why Congress and HUD have instituted the EIV, how it is supposed to work, what tenants’ rights are to access their files and appeal and correct the record, and how you can get a rent reduction if you’ve lost your job.
As Public Housing converts to private ownership under HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration, new regulations allow tenants to organize independently of Housing Agencies and owners, but violations of tenants’ rights are widespread. Learn about tenant organizing rights in RAD properties and how to deal with owners who undermine tenants’ attempts to organize here!
Reflecting worldwide trends, US cities are undergoing profound changes as global investors reconstruct central cities for the 1% and displace and isolate lower income groups, particularly people of color. HUD tenants are fighting back!
Across the country, tenant groups have struggled with how to get rid of incompetent, corrupt and/or downright nasty on-site managers. Some groups have succeeded in changing on-site management or even removing management companies, in buildings that are not owned by tenants. Find out how they did it!
The COVID crisis has created new challenges for tenants who wish to organize and sustain their tenant groups. Meeting rooms are closed and door to door outreach is unsafe. Learn how to start and sustain a tenant group using teleconference calls, Zoom video, and other digital platforms.
Discrimination against people of color, women, the disabled and other groups protected under the Fair Housing Act is widespread in HUD assisted housing. Learn how tenants can use new federal protections to fight for their rights and combat discrimination, harassment and segregation in HUD housing.
HUD’s aging housing stock presents many challenges to tenants’ health and safety. Life-threatening gas and water leaks, toxic mold, drafty windows, poor ventilation, and lead paint are widespread. HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) inspection system has failed to address these threats. Learn more about the HUD REAC Inspection Process here!
In 2011, Congress passed HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program (RAD), to invite private investors to renovate Public Housing.
Learn about your rights to decent, safe and COVID free housing; what buildings are covered under the CDC Eviction Moratorium for nonpayment of rent in federally supported housing; how to access Emergency Rental Assistance; your right to recertify and lower your rent in income-based housing if you’ve lost your job; and your Right to Organize in Project-Based Section 8 housing.
More than 1.3 million families live in housing where Project Based Section 8 contracts are expiring. Learn about expiring Section 8 contracts and mortgages; basics of “Mark Up to Market”; Enhanced vs. Project Based Vouchers; Low Income Housing Tax Credits; risks and opportunities for tenants.
Close to half the tenants in privately-owned HUD housing are seniors or disabled tenants, often in high-rise buildings. Many tenants are in their 80’s and 90’s and/or with health conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to COVID.
Since the 1990’s, the principal housing production program for lower income families, has been the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC). Administered by the Internal Revenue Service (not HUD), LIHTC today serves more than 2.3 million families, mostly people below 60% of the Area Median Income. About 400,000 LIHTC apartments also receive Section 8 for low income families. LIHTC presents unique challenges for tenants and organizers. There is no federally-recognized Right to Organize in LIHTC buildings (unless they have Section 8). Most LIHTC buildings do not receive REAC inspections, making it harder for tenants who need repairs.
Tenants in subsidized housing are challenged as long term contracts in federal and state subsidized housing expire and rent controls and subsidies end. More than 460,000 low rent HUD apartments have been lost since 1996 due to owner decisions to prepay or opt-out of HUD programs, or through HUD foreclosure and resale. Organizers across the country have organized tenants to save our homes in response. Learn how tenants have used HUD programs such as Mark Up to Market, Enhanced or Project-Based Vouchers, and Tax Credits to save and improve our homes from market rate conversions.