HUD Expands Eviction Protection and Diversion Program with an Additional $3.4M for New York

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Monday announced $20 million in new grants for its Eviction Protection Grant Program, doubling the amount originally allocated for the launch of the Program in November 2021.

In New York, HUD awarded $2.4 million to the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation and $1 million to Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, providing services in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster counties.

The Albany-based Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York and Legal Assistance of Western New York in Geneva each received $2.4 million last November, totaling $4.8 million, bringing the state’s total funding for eviction protection to $8.2 million.

HUD has offered grants to 11 organizations, in addition to the 10 organizations selected in 2021, to help non-profits and governmental entities provide legal assistance to low-income tenants at risk of or subject to eviction. Legal services are integral in helping individuals and families, especially people of color who are disproportionately represented among those evicted, people with limited English proficiency, and people with disabilities, avoid eviction or minimize the disruption and damage caused by the eviction process.

“The American people have been resilient in the face of historic challenges as we continue to confront the impacts of COVID-19,” said Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “We need to keep doing all that we can to help people maintain quality housing. We know that access to legal services and eviction diversion programs works. It helps people avoid evictions and protects tenants’ rights. Legal services also help landlords access available resources to address rent arrears. We are proud to expand the Eviction Protection Grant Program so that more families have access to eviction protection services.”

“New Yorkers continue to feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many vulnerable to evictions due to job losses and lost income. Legal assistance for evictions is a lifeline for low and moderate-income households that need their children to stay in school and families to remain in their homes,” said Alicka Ampry-Samuel, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. “Legal services not only provide needed guidance to avoid the jarring experience of an eviction, it can protect renters from having an eviction record, a scarlet letter that can potentially hurt their chances of renting a decent, safe home in the future.”

Through HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research, these competitive grants were made available to legal service providers serving or expanding services in areas with high rates of eviction or prospective evictions, including rural areas. The first cohort of grantees funded by the program are implementing a total of seven statewide programs (Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, and Utah) as well as two regional (Northwestern Ohio and Western New York) and three local (Albany, Atlanta, and Las Vegas) programs. This expansion will support additional statewide, regional, and local programs across the Northeast, Southern, and Western United States.

The Eviction Protection Grant Program is part of HUD’s continued work, as part of a whole government approach, to support families recovering from the public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. State and local Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) grantees have made over 5.2 million payments to households and spent or committed well over $30 billion in rental and utility assistance, along with other support through the program. Additionally, state and local governments have already used Fiscal Recovery Funds provided by the American Rescue Plan to provide additional rent, mortgage, or utility assistance to over 700,000 households and have provided eviction prevention services to more than 100,000 households in 2021. And due to the Administration’s continual promotion of eviction diversion programs, including through multiple eviction prevention summits in 2021, there are now approximately 100 eviction diversion programs in existence nationwide. As a result of these efforts, the Eviction Lab estimated that millions of renters avoided the threat of eviction in 2021.