The Broward Housing Council (BHC) invites you to its virtual Annual Affordable Housing Workshop, 9am to 12noon, Friday, October 23, 2020. View the agenda, register and participate through WebEx.
Broward Housing Council (BHC)
Since 2009, the Broward Housing Council has served in an advisory capacity to the County Commission and facilitated coordination between the County, municipalities, the business community, and not-for-profit groups. The BHC addresses housing issues including, but not limited to: affordable housing, workforce housing, and homelessness.
Created by the Charter of Broward County (Section 11.07) in November 2008, the BHC has between 17-19 members representing various cities, not-for-profit housing and homelessness organizations, service providers and community representatives. Commissioner Lamar P. Fisher, District 4, serves on the BHC as the County Commission representative.
The BHC makes policy recommendations to the County Commission regarding affordable housing countywide. Their 2020 adopted Work Program addresses seven (7) key areas: Facilitate Coordination, Increase Affordable Housing Stock, Enhance Housing Stability, Advocate for Legislative Change, Streamline Process, Address Homelessness, and Support Countywide Financing.
The public is encouraged to attend the BHC bimonthly meetings, tentatively held on the last Friday of every other month, from 10 AM -12 PM, at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, 2650 Sistrunk Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale.
TEMPORARY HALT IN RESIDENTIAL EVICTIONS TO PREVENT THE FURTHER SPREAD OF COVID-19
Yesterday, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a nationwide order halting evictions through December 31, 2020. The order covers 43 million U.S. residential renters if they meet income and other eligibility requirements.
The CDC’s action follows President Trump’s Executive Order of August 8, 2020. The order directed the CDC to evaluate whether temporarily halting evictions for failure to pay rent would be reasonably necessary to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. In its Order issued yesterday, the CDC concluded that such a temporary ban on evictions would be an effective measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Who is Covered Under the Eviction Moratorium
The CDC’s order is more expansive than the eviction moratorium that was included in the CARES Act. The CARES Act covered about 12.3 million renters in apartments and single-family homes that were financed by federally-backed mortgages. The CDC eviction moratorium applies regardless of how a rental property is financed.
To qualify for the protection, a renter must provide a written certification covering several requirements.
First, the individual must certify that they have used “best efforts” to obtain available government assistance for rent or housing.
Second, they must certify one of three things related to their income:
- That the individual expects to earn no more than $99,000 in 2020, or $198,000 if filing a joint tax return; or
- That they were not required to report any income to the IRS in 2019; or
- That they received a stimulus check (Economic Impact Payment) under the CARES Act.
Third, they must certify that they are unable to pay the full rent due to a “substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses.”
Fourth, they must use “best efforts” to make partial payments on time that are “as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other non-discretionary expenses.”
Finally, renters must certify that an eviction would likely “render the individual homeless, or force the individual to move into and live in close quarters in a new congregate or share living setting, because the individual has no other available housing options.”
Renters can find the written certification form at the end of the CDC’s order. The declaration must be signed and is subject to the penalties of perjury.
Who Is Not Covered by the Eviction Moratorium
In addition to the above requirements, the order does not apply in those areas that already have a moratorium on residential evictions. Specifically, it does not apply to any state, local, territorial or tribal area that has an eviction moratorium that “provides the same or greater level of public-health protection than the requirements” in the CDC’s order.
Renters Still Owe Rent
The order does not relieve renters of the obligation to pay rent. In addition, the order does not prevent landlords from charging or collecting fees, penalties, or interest as a result of a tenant’s failure to pay rent on time.
In addition, the order does not preclude evictions for any one of the following reasons:
- Criminal activity on the premises;
- Threatening the health or safety of other tenants;
- Damaging or posing an immediate and significant risk of damage to the property;
- Violating building codes or health ordinances related to health and safety; or
- Violating any of the terms of the rental agreement other than the timely payment of rent.
At the end of the CDC eviction moratorium, which expires December 31, 2020, tenants will owe any unpaid rent. This creates another risk as unpaid financial obligations grow for many who may not be able to pay the rent when the moratorium ends.
Rental Assistance and Landlords
The eviction moratorium raises concerns for landlords who need to continue to pay mortgages and other expenses related to rental properties.
The CDC’s order describes the available federal assistance made available to tenants. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development informed the CDC that entities who received Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) or Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds under the CARES Act may use these funds to provide temporary rental assistance.
CDC Order: Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19
Presidential Order: Executive Order on Fighting the Spread of COVID-19 by Providing Assistance to Renters and Homeowners
Broward County to Launch Online Rental Assistance Program on August 31
- Funds can help qualified residents pay unpaid rents -
BROWARD COUNTY, FL - Qualified residents impacted by COVID-19 will soon be able to apply online for rental assistance, thanks to the Broward County Commission.
Broward County has allocated $25 million in federal CARES funding for a program that will help residents pay portions of unpaid rent for the months of April, May, June, July and August 2020. Funds are not a loan, and do not have to be paid back.
Individuals may be eligible if they meet the following requirements:
- They are a Broward County resident
- They or someone in their household experienced a documented loss or reduction in income related to COVID-19
- Due to the loss of income related to COVID-19, they were unable to pay their rent
- Their landlord agrees to participate
Assistance equates to a partial payment of rent. For months one and two of the owed rent amount the rental assistance program will pay, and the landlord must agree to, 75% of the amount due. For months three, four and five of rent assistance , the program will pay, and the landlord must agree to, 60% of the amount due. Late fees, if any, will not be covered by the program.
Payments are made to landlords, therefore if a landlord is not willing to complete the documents, the tenant will not be eligible for assistance.
Broward County’s Family Success Division is managing the application process and will approve and distribute funds until depleted.
Application Period Opens August 31
The application period is Monday, August 31 through Sunday, September 6, 2020, from 8AM to 10PM daily. Applications may be submitted online only, at Broward.org/CARES. A computer is not necessary, and the application can be completed on a smartphone or tablet. No in-person applications will be accepted. Questions? Call 954-831-2380.
Because applicants are required to attach significant amounts of substantiating documentation, residents who believe they are qualified are encouraged to begin today to collect documentation required for the online application process. For details, visit the website. The application must be completed in one sitting and cannot be partially completed, saved or returned to at a later time.
Examples of the types of documents that may be required depending upon each unique situation are:
- Copy of valid government-issued ID
- Rental lease agreement or Tenant Verification Form, completed by landlord
- Late notice for past due rent/eviction notice/past due notification
- Evidence of unemployment or loss of income if self-employed
Once a resident’s application is assigned a case manager, he or she may be asked to supply other documents such as bank statements. Again, consult the website for details on documents that may be required at time of application.
COVID-19 has impacted many Broward County families in many ways. If you have loss of income not related to COVID-19, and need help during this difficult pandemic, please visit Family Success Division to see what other resources may be available to you.
Broward County Total Home Sales Rise in August 2020
Miami Realtors, September 22, 2020, Chris Umpierre
Broward County total home sales surged in August 2020, according to the MIAMI Association of Realtors (MIAMI) and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system.
Broward County total home sales jumped 6.7% year-over-year, from 2,895 to 3,089. Broward single-family home sales jumped 16.4% year-over-year, from 1,436 to 1,672. Broward existing condo transactions decreased 2.9% year-over-year, from 1,459 to 1,417.
Strong demand coupled with limited supply continue to drive price appreciation in Broward.
Broward County single-family home prices increased 12.5% year-over-year in August 2020, increasing from $369,750 to $416,000. Existing condo prices increased 13.2% year-over-year, from $176,540 to $199,900.
DeSantis extends moratorium on evicitions until Oct. 1
Sun Sentinel, August 31, 2020, Ron Hurtibise and Austen Erblat
Gov. Ron DeSantis extended the moratorium on evictions to Oct. 1 late Monday.
Families could be headed for disaster over unpaid rent during COVID-19
Sun Sentinel, July 31, 2020, Ron Hurtibise
Hundreds of thousands of out-of-work and underemployed tenants, unable to pay past-due rents, are in danger of being thrown to the streets in Florida — not today, not next week, but at some point soon when the state’s governor decides enough is enough.
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ latest extension of the state’s eviction moratorium — this time to Sept. 1 — merely delays an inevitable day of reckoning, according to advocates for both renters and landlords.
When that comes, judges will begin signing stacks of eviction orders, sheriff’s deputies will begin serving notices to vacate, and an alarming number of families will be forcibly removed from their homes with nowhere else to go.
Landlords will see their investments go into default and get repossessed by lenders. Hedge funds will swoop in like vultures, scooping up properties for pennies on the dollar.
The only way to avoid this doomsday scenario, advocates say, is for Congress and the president to approve billions of dollars in assistance — not loans, but grants, much like the forgivable Payment Protection Program loans that have been made available for businesses that promised to keep employees on their payrolls through the first weeks of the shutdown.
Eviction and Foreclosure Moratorium Extended to Sep. 1
Executive Order, July 29, 2020, Secretary of State
An Executive Order from the Governor Ron Desantis was signed July 29, extending the moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until September 1, 2020.
Exec Order 20-180
The Eviction Ban Worked, But It’s Almost Over. Some Landlords Are Getting Ready.
ProPublica, July 25, 2020, by Jeff Ernsthausen and Ellis Simani
The CARES Act was largely successful in keeping millions of American renters from facing eviction during the pandemic. As protections fade, some landlords are gearing up to return to court.
Starting July 25, a key component of the federal eviction moratorium is set to expire, allowing landlords that operate federally backed rental properties to give their tenants 30 days’ notice to vacate. After that period, landlords can file for eviction.
Limited Extension of Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction relief
Executive Order, June 30, 2020, Secretary of State
An Executive Order from the Governor Ron Desantis was signed June 30, extending the moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until August 1, 2020.
Exec Order 20-159
Governor Approves 2020-21 State Budget
Florida Government News Releases, June 29, 2020, Staff
Today, the Governor signed HB 5001 – General Appropriations Act (“Budget”) – into law. The overall budget totals $92.2 billion, with over $1 billion in vetoes to supplant losses in revenue due to the COVID-19 health pandemic. The area of Affordable Housing received 2020-21 Fiscal Year funding as follows:
$225 million of the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) fund was vetoed. However, last week the Governor appropriated $250 million in CARES Act funding for rental and mortgage assistance for Florida families that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be two funding pools totaling up to $240 million and sets aside up to $10 million in expected operational costs for the program. Below is a summary of how funds are to be allocated:
Rental Assistance for Affordable Rental Housing Tenants
$120 million will provide short-term rental assistance for COVID-19 impacted households residing at multifamily rental properties in FHFC’s portfolio.
- FHFC will reimburse participating properties to subsidize eligible households’ rents for each impacted month.
- The rental assistance will be available to help pay a household’s rent for eligible months from July through December 2020.
- The household may be eligible for assistance to pay rent arrearages accrued during the months of April, May and June 2020.
Rent and Mortgage Assistance
A separate pool of $120 million will be released to counties based on a county’s reemployment assistance rate for the determined disbursement period. The allocation also includes $200,000 for technical assistance to local governments. These funds would be used for rental and homeowner assistance programs such as:
- New construction.
- Mortgage buydowns.
- Down payment.
- Closing cost assistance.
- Emergency repairs.
- Homeownership counseling for individuals impacted by COVID-19.
Operations Assistance for Special Needs Developments and Administrative Costs
- A one-time allocation of $2 million will be provided to assist with past and future costs related to additional staffing, security and supplies directly related to COVID-19 in serving special needs and homeless households residing in the supportive housing developments. The allocation will be based on each development’s total number of units.
- Additionally, $8 million will be provided in expected administrative costs, including credit underwriting, disbursement review and processing, compliance monitoring and technical assistance. Funds not used for administration, if any, would be added to Rental Assistance and/or Operations Assistance for Special Needs Developments.
Statement on veto of Sadowski housing trust funds
Member newsletter, June 29, 2020, Sadowski Affiliates
SHIP funding was vetoed from Florida budget, CARES Act funding directed to rental and mortgage assistance.
Sadowski Affiliates statement...
FHFC Releases 2019 Annual Report
The Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) 2019 Annual Report is now available online. The report, themed: “Welcoming Families Home,” is available for print and/or viewing.
Governor Ron DeSantis Announces $250 Million for Affordable Housing Coronavirus Relief Initiative
Florida Government News Releases, June 25, 2020, Staff
Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced $250 million in CARES Act funding for rental and mortgage assistance for Florida families that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Many families across our state have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 through no fault of their own,” said Governor DeSantis. “This initiative strives to provide financial assistance through multiple affordable housing programs to ensure these Floridians receive the support they need during this difficult time.”
“Florida Housing is grateful for the Governor’s strong support of housing and the programs proposed to give renters and homeowners impacted by COVID-19 the relief they desperately need,” said Florida Housing Finance Corporation Executive Director Trey Price. “The Governor and Florida Housing stand together in guaranteeing Florida households stay a priority, and ensuring families have the necessary assistance and tools in place to remain in their homes affordably during this public health emergency.”
The initiative includes two funding pools totaling up to $240 million and sets aside up to $10 million in expected operational costs for the program.
Is America's Housing Ready for an Aging Population?
United States Census Bureau, June 22, 2020, Jonathan Vespa
It should come as no surprise that older Americans overwhelmingly want to stay in their home as they age. But are their homes ready for them to stay?
For millions of older Americans, home is where they raised a family, hosted holidays and told bedtime stories to their children and grandchildren. It is often their nest egg as well as an anchor to their community.
But older homes don’t always meet the needs of older Americans, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.
South Florida rents are declining as coronavirus chases tenants away from downtowns
Sun Sentinel, June 20, 2020, David Lyons
The coronavirus pandemic might be chasing people away from living on top of each other in apartments.
Rents are gradually declining, suggesting that tenants are looking elsewhere for room to work at home and stay healthy.
In 30 South Florida cities, the rent for 62% of one-bedroom units are either flat or declining, according to Zumper, a national apartment search firm. The percentage increases to 69% for two-bedroom prices.
Feds Pump Millions Into Disability Housing As Part Of Coronavirus Relief
DisabilityScoop, June 9, 2020, Michelle Diament
Federal officials are funneling millions of dollars into new housing opportunities for people with disabilities across the nation.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said it is making available nearly $77 million to support as many as 8,300 housing vouchers for this population.
The funding for what’s known as the Section 811 Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program was announced late last month and is part of the CARES Act, a large coronavirus relief package approved by Congress in March.Full article...
Gov. Ron DeSantis extends Florida’s evictions ban for one more month to July 1
Sun Sentinel, June 2, 2020, David Lyons and Brooke Baitinger
Gov. Ron DeSantis has extended a ban on residential evictions in Florida for another month.
Tenants and landlords statewide had anxiously waited for a decision from the governor on Monday as to whether he would extend a moratorium for a second time since it was invoked in early April.
He acted late Monday by setting a new expiration date for 12:01 a.m. on July 1.
Florida Housing Unveils Redesigned Affordable Rental Housing Locator
Newsletter, April 30, 2020, Florida Housing
The Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing) unveiled the redesign of the statewide online affordable rental housing locator called FloridaHousingSearch.org. The locator is part of Florida Housing’s ongoing effort to respond to affordable rental housing needs in general as well as during natural disasters. While there has been no change to the locator’s services it provides and it is still free, the new design is more user and mobile-friendly making it easier for affordable housing developments to list their vacancies and for consumers to find them.
A New Home
Keenila Spiller, left, greets Anna Jaime, of Continental Development Holding, and Broward County Commissioner Nan Rich at a ribbon cutting for Spiller’s new affordable rental home in Fort Lauderdale. Continental Development Holding, a newly launched Miami-based developer, plans to build more affordable housing units throughout the tricounty area, including single-family homes, townhomes, multifamily homes and duplexes in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Hallandale in 2020.
Beatrice Bray and Spiller stand in Spiller’s new affordable rental home in Fort Lauderdale.
Photos courtesy of: Susan Stocker/Sun Sentinel photos