In response to the coronavirus outbreak, President Trump, on Wednesday, March 18, directed the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to suspend evictions and foreclosures through to the month of April. The suspension will only apply to homeowners with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, an HUD agency that backs affordable home loans issued by private firms.
“Today’s actions will allow households who have an FHA-insured mortgage to meet the challenges of COVID-19 without fear of losing their homes, and help steady market concerns. The health and safety of the American people is of the utmost importance to the Department, and the halting of all foreclosure actions and evictions for the next 60 days will provide homeowners with some peace of mind during these trying times.” – Dr. Ben Carson, U.S. Secretary of Department of Housing and Urban Development 1
This will be a nationwide moratorium. However, according to HUD, roughly 8.1 million rental homes will be eligible for these eviction protections.2 According to the 2019 U.S. Census, 43 million households are renting.3 This discrepancy in numbers means many renters will not be eligible for the HUD eviction protections, including renters in public housing authorities.
Secretary Carson assured people on Twitter that the agency was working with Congress to expand the reach of the eviction protections.
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.
— Ben Carson (@SecretaryCarson) March 18, 2020
Florida’s Response to the Public Health Crisis
The eviction protections from HUD are going to be applied on a national level. But what about state or even county-level eviction convictions? Are evictions suspended in South Florida outside of the HUD moratorium? On March 9, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.5 This executive order provides state and local governmental agencies broad powers to respond to the outbreak. On March 19, the governor said he would consider a statewide moratorium on evictions.
“I need to see what my authority would be and how it would work,” DeSantis told reporters. “If something happens with their business and they get laid off, and then they can’t make the rent payment … those are extraordinary circumstances. So, I would be supportive of figuring out what I can do.” – Governor Ron DeSantis5
Broward, Miami-Dade, & Palm Beach County
Broward County – On March 17, the Broward Sheriff’s Office, in coordination with the 17th Judicial Circuit, announced it would be ceasing all eviction activities until further notice.6 Deputies will stop service eviction notices for as long as is needed as the county grapples with the public health crisis.
Miami-Dade County – On March 12, Miami-Dade police announced that officers would not assist with eviction until further notice due to the public health emergency.
“The only ones that can follow through on eviction orders is us. From this point forward, those papers and those orders will not be processed.” – Miami-Dade County Police Department spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta 7
Palm Beach County – A moratorium of evictions in Palm Beach County has not been announced as of now. Look out for any announcements or updates on the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office website.
Hopefully, these eviction protections apply to you and your household. However, if you do need urgent moving services due to an eviction or your college dormitory closing, our South Florida moving company is here to help!
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- NATIONWIDE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE
- Katy O’Donnell, Politico – HUD, Fannie, Freddie suspend foreclosures, evictions during outbreak
- United States Census Bureau – QUARTERLY RESIDENTIAL VACANCIES AND HOMEOWNERSHIP, FOURTH QUARTER 2019
- Samantha J. Gross, Miami Herald – FL Gov. DeSantis says he ‘would consider’ a moratorium on evictions amid coronavirus
- Broward Sheriff’s Office – BROWARD SHERIFF’S OFFICE SUSPENDS ALL EVICTION ACTIONS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
- Douglas Hanks, Miami Herald – Miami-Dade suspends evictions and water cut-offs during coronavirus emergency