Federal Eviction Ban, Housing Assistance Updates

Montana Housing Banner
Rental Apartments

CDC Order Bans Evictions
Federal Eviction Moratorium Effective Through Dec. 31, 2020

Beginning Friday, September 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will implement a temporary eviction moratorium on all rental units nationwide, effective through the end of the year.

Under the order, a landlord, owner of a residential property or other person with a legal right to pursue eviction or possessory action, may not evict any covered person from any residential property in the United States.

The order protects from eviction any tenant, lessee or resident of a residential property who provides to their landlord, the owner of the residential property or other person with a legal right to pursue eviction or a possessory action, a declaration under penalty of perjury indicating that:

  • The individual has used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing
  • The individual either expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return), was not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) pursuant to Section 2201 of the CARES Act
  • 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
  • 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.

The order does not relieve any individual of any obligation to pay rent, make a housing payment or comply with any other obligation that the individual may have under a tenancy, lease or similar contract. Nothing in the order stops the charging or collecting of fees, penalties or interest as a result of the failure to pay rent or other housing payment on a timely basis, under the terms of any applicable contract.

The order is meant to achieve mitigation of the spread of COVID-19 within shared living settings, unsheltered homelessness, from one state to another and to support COVID-19 efforts at the Federal, State, local, territorial and tribal levels.

Failure to comply with the order may result in criminal charges.

Landlords may still evict tenants for:

  • Engaging in criminal activity while on the premises
  • Threatening the health or safety of other residents
  • Damaging or posing an immediate and significant risk of damage to property
  • Violating any applicable building code, health ordinance or similar regulation relating to health and safety
  • Violating any other contractual obligation, other than the timely payment of rent or similar housing-related payment, including non-payment or late payment of fees, penalties or interest.

Read the full CDC Order here.

Legal Gavel & Open Law Book - Attribution via a link to howtostartablogonline.net

Legal services available via MLSA

Governor Bullock has allocated $180,000 to the Montana Legal Services Association through the Coronavirus Relief Fund to ensure more Montanans can access free legal services. Services are available to Montanans who cannot afford a private attorney for eviction prevention, family law, domestic violence survivors, public benefits assistance and assistance with debt and bankruptcy management. Contact the Montana Legal Services Association at 1.800.666.6899 or online at MTLSA.ORG.

Montana Home

Federal Foreclosure Moratoriums

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has announced the third extension of its foreclosure and eviction moratorium through December 31, 2020, for homeowners with FHA-insured single family mortgages covered under the Coronavirus Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This extension provides an additional four months of housing security to homeowners.

In addition, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development have extended their foreclosure moratoriums for VA-guaranteed mortgages and USDA-RD direct and guaranteed home loans through December 31, 2020.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has also announced an extension of its foreclosure and real estate owned (REO) eviction moratorium through December 31, 2020, for homeowners with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac backed single-family mortgages.

Rental Apartments

More Montanans Can Now Qualify for Emergency Rent, Mortgage Payment Assistance

More Montanans may now be eligible for monthly rent and mortgage assistance. The Montana Department of Commerce announced Monday that Montana Housing has made updates to the Emergency Housing Assistance program to help more Montanans access emergency housing assistance.

Program Updates:

  • Montana Housing will pay the difference between 25 percent of the household’s current net monthly income and their eligible housing assistance costs, up to $2,000 a month with a minimum monthly payment of $250. Household income limits range from $75,000-$125,000 based on family size. Montanans receiving other forms of housing assistance are not eligible.
  • The program has eliminated the $10,000 readily available assets limit. 

Emergency Housing Assistance applicants who need assistance with the application can contact NeighborWorks Montana at covidrelief@nwmt.org or by calling 406.604.4500.

Apply Now Orange

For more information visit COVIDRELIEF.MT.GOV.