• Admin@TheBrightWay.org

Eviction and Foreclosure Information for Residents

HOUSD does not administer any rental assistance program. HOUSD is committed to providing up-to-date information on how to access rental assistance programs provided by the city, county, and state agencies.  

While the CDC has gone through several iterations of the Eviction Moratorium since April 2020, the most recent version extends through October 3, 2021. Tenants and housing providers alike now have even more time to access funding to help cover rent and utilities, both in the rears and in advance (note: this will vary across programs). However, it is important to note that there have already been several legal challenges to the CDC Eviction Moratorium, and we expect more to come, so it is important to complete your assistance applications as soon as possible 

Moreover, the Biden administration has extended the mortgage payment forbearance enrollment window to the same date. Borrowers who entered forbearance on or before June 30, 2020, will receive up to six months of additional mortgage payment forbearance in three-month increments. Source:https://www.justia.com/covid-19/50-state-covid-19-resources/eviction-mortgage-foreclosure-relief-during-covid-19-50-state-resource/#florida   

As the number of evictions and foreclosures began to rise, housd created an Evictions and Foreclosures Group (EFG) task force comprised of leaders throughout the region to create a coordinated response to these looming crises.  

What you need to know about evictions

What Happens if you can’t pay rent?  

When someone experiences illness, loss of employment, or loss of benefits, it may mean that they can no longer afford rent. This is an extremely stressful time and if you find yourself in this situation here are some things you can do:  

  1. Talk to your landlord – If you know you might not be able to pay upcoming rent, talk to your landlord as soon as possible and explain your situation. Your landlord may allow you some flexibility with your upcoming rent payments, which will allow you to stay in your home.  
  2. Come to an agreement – Your landlord may choose to accept partial payments of rent but they don’t have to. If you can pay at least part of your rent and they accept, get a receipt from your landlord. 
  3. Document it – If your landlord agrees to let you make payments on your back rent make sure to get the agreement in writing. 

Need some guidance? Here is a writing template to request partial payments: https://files.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/COVID-19-Tenant-Guidance-Rent-Repayment-Plans.pdf 

If you can’t come into an agreement, you could be facing an eviction.  

Have further questions about what steps to take? The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) created an step-by-step guide of what you need to do: https://www.usich.gov/tools-for-action/at-risk-of-eviction-help-is-available/  

What is Eviction?  

 

Eviction is the removal of a tenant from a rental property by the landlord. In some jurisdictions, it may also involve the removal of persons from premises that were foreclosed by a mortgagee.  

Still confused about evictions? Here is more information: https://www.floridalawhelp.org/content/help-i-just-got-a-3-day-notice 

How can I prevent eviction during the pandemic? 

 

Since Florida’s state eviction and foreclosure moratorium expired at the end of September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) order freezing evictions is now the only policy preventing many Florida renters from losing their homes. 

The Order temporarily halts residential evictions of covered persons for nonpayment of rent during September 4, 2020, through June 30, 2021. This means that a landlord, owner of a residential property, or other person with a legal right to pursue an eviction or a possessory action cannot evict for nonpayment of rent any covered person from any residential property in any U.S. state or U.S. territory where the Order applies. More info here:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/Eviction-Moratoria-Order-FAQs-02012021-508.pdf  

Who is covered in this order?  

 

Any tenant, lessee, or resident of a residential property who provides their landlord, the owner of the residential property or other person with a legal right to pursue eviction. Each person whose name is on the lease must fill out the declaration form and submit a copy to their landlord that says they’re protected by the order under these requirements. 

  • The individual has used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing; 
  •  The individual either (i) earned no more than $99,000 (or $198,000 if filing jointly) in Calendar Year 2020, or expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2021 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return) (ii) was not required to report any income in 2020 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or (iii) received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check); 
  •  The individual is unable to pay the full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;  
  • The individual is using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses; and  
  • Eviction would likely render the individual homeless— or force the individual to move into and live in close quarters in a new congregate or shared living setting—because the individual has no other available housing options. 

Where can I get assistance? 

 

If you’re financially struggling and need assistance, below are a few resources that you can apply to:  

Florida Residents:

 

OUR (Opportunities for Utilities and Rental Assistance) Florida Program is Florida’s federally-funded emergency rental assistance relief program that supports residents and businesses as they continue to recover and rebuild. The funding was made available to the State of Florida through federal legislation passed in December 2020. OUR Florida provides renters who qualify with relief on unpaid rent and utility bills and supports landlords and utilities with relief on lost revenue to support their continued recovery. If you need additional information, visit https://www.ourflorida.com.

Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida (CLSMF) is a no-cost civil case legal service. They provide access to justice through high-quality legal assistance to low-income persons. Their staff can help answer your legal questions regarding an eviction and your rights as a tenanthttps://www.clsmf.org/  

City of Orlando: 

 

Rental Assistance Program: 

Households within the Orlando city limits with incomes below 80% of the area median income ($61,050 for a family of four) are eligible to apply for assistance to get current on up to 12 months of unpaid rent. Applications are open: orlando.gov/assistance 

Orange County Residents:  

 

Orange County COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Program: 

The Program provides up to $4,000 in past due rent that is paid directly to the landlord. The tenant or landlord can initiate the application process; however, both must agree to participate and meet eligibility requirements. 

This program has stopped accepting new applications. A new program, the Emergency Rental Assistance program, will continue to help residents facing eviction. 

EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM – Coronavirus (COVID-19): 

The Orange County Emergency Rental Assistance program is an income-based program aimed at helping Orange County’s most vulnerable tenants by providing one-time assistance to tenants who are past-due in rent as a result of financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

http://www.ocfl.net/EmergencySafety/Coronavirus/EmergencyRentalAssistance.aspx#.YMjrnTZKg_U  

Legal Aid Society of The Orange County Bar Association, Inc.: 

Provides free legal assistance to low-income residents of Orange County in family law matters, housing matters, consumer matters, immigration matters, and sealing/expunction of records. 

https://floridalawhelp.org/recommendations/referral?id=47&cat=HO-00-00-00-00&issue=HO-02-00-00-00&county=Orange 

Seminole County Residents:  

 

Seminole County Emergency Rental Assistance Program: 

Seminole County has received funds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury intended to provide rental assistance to eligible households negatively impacted due to COVID-19, and the resulting economic environment. Funds shall be used to cover the financial obligation of rent and/or utilities. This County-wide program covers unincorporated areas and all municipalities. The first 3,000 completed applications will be accepted. 

https://seminoleerap.seminolecountyfl.gov/program-overview/  

Seminole County Bar Association Legal Aid Society, Inc.:  

Free legal aid may be offered to help stop an eviction. Get information on rights when it comes to fair housing. Lawyers can assist low-income families and the elderly and advise on issues such as unpaid rent or unsafe apartments. 

https://scbalas.com/housing-assistance/ 

Osceola County Residents:  

 

Covid- 19 Eviction Diversion Assistance:  

Assistance is available for Osceola County residents facing evictions. If an Action of Eviction has been filed against you for non-payment of rent, you may qualify for assistance. 

https://osceola.formstack.com/forms/eviction_diversion_screening_form 

Covid-19 Emergency Rental Assistance/ Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention:  

Applications for COVID-19 Housing Assistance are available for citizens residing in Osceola County including City of Kissimmee and City of St. Cloud.  You may qualify for assistance with your rent/mortgage payments. 

https://osceola.formstack.com/forms/covid_rental_assistance 

More Information: https://www.osceola.org/agencies-departments/human-services/housing/ 

Other Resources:  

 

Not sure what programs you qualify for, or you are outside of Florida’s geography? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has resources for homeowners, renters, and landlords to answer all of your questions: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/mortgage-and-housing-assistance/ 

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has coronavirus-related resources for renters available on its website. https://www.hud.gov/states/florida/renting 

Eviction and Foreclosure Information for City/County Leaders 

and Non-Profit Agencies 

EFG – The Evictions and Foreclosures Group 

 

HOUSD convenes a bi-weekly task force to address evictions and foreclosures resulting from the pandemic, which includes cities and counties from around Central Florida; nonprofits addressing housing and homelessness issues; the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando and Orlando Regional Realtor Association; the County Court judge managing the evictions docket; legal aid organizations; United Way; Career Source; with participation from state and national agencies like the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies at University of Florida and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.  

National Eviction and Foreclosure Updates 

Additional Resources