$10 Million Funding Opportunity for Tenant Education and Outreach Launched by HUD to Strengthen Renter Protections

$10 Million Funding Opportunity for Tenant Education and Outreach Launched by HUD to Strengthen Renter Protections

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is taking significant steps to promote fairness in the rental market and strengthen renter protections in housing. In line with the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to safeguarding renters’ rights, HUD is announcing three important actions.

  1. Transparent Rental Screening Process: HUD recognizes the importance of transparency in the rental screening process. To achieve this, the department is actively communicating with public housing agencies and property owners. They are being reminded of their obligations and encouraged to adopt best practices in informing rejected housing applicants about the specific reasons for their denial. By doing so, renters gain valuable insights into the screening process, allowing them greater opportunities to address any errors or misunderstandings that may have arisen.
  2. Empowering Renters through Education: Recognizing the critical role of informed and empowered renters in maintaining safe and affordable housing, HUD is allocating $10 million to support tenant education and outreach in properties that benefit from the Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance program. This funding will be instrumental in building the capacity of tenants to engage more effectively with property management. Well-informed renters can contribute to the sustainability of their living environments, promoting cleanliness, safety, and overall quality in affordable housing communities.
  3. Enhanced Notification Requirements for Evictions: HUD is taking proactive measures to protect tenants facing evictions due to nonpayment of rent in certain subsidized housing properties. The department will soon propose a new rule mandating housing providers to furnish written notification to tenants at least 30 days before initiating an eviction process. This advance notice will offer tenants ample time to address any payment issues, potentially avoiding unnecessary evictions and the hardships they bring. This proposed rule is in alignment with the principles outlined in the Blueprint for a Renter’s Bill of Rights, a crucial initiative introduced by the Biden-Harris Administration earlier this year.

HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge emphasizes the importance of providing renters with the necessary resources to protect their interests and facilitate better communication with landlords. In this endeavor, HUD is committed to collaborating closely with renters and ensuring they are well informed about their rights and the various measures taken to enhance their housing experiences.

The White House has also released a comprehensive fact sheet detailing various actions aimed at protecting renters, highlighting the government’s dedication to promoting fair and secure rental housing options for all Americans. Through these initiatives, HUD aims to support the 44 million households, roughly 35 percent of the U.S. population, living in rental housing and to create a more equitable rental market that empowers renters to live with dignity and agency. The department acknowledges the significance of engaging with tenant leaders and stakeholders to gain valuable input and recommendations, as demonstrated in the recent “National Conversation @ The Community Table” hosted by HUD Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman.

In summary, these new actions by HUD reflect the government’s commitment to advancing the rights and protections of renters while striving to build a more inclusive and supportive rental market. Through transparency, education, and thoughtful policy measures, HUD aims to create a rental housing landscape that benefits both tenants and property owners alike.

Over 44 million households, about 35 percent of the U.S. population, live in rental housing. HUD and the Biden-Harris Administration have a plan to support renters and their rights. They value engaging with tenant leaders and recently held the “National Conversation @ The Community Table” for dialogue on renters’ rights.

Actions taken by HUD include:

  1. Adverse Action Notice: HUD urged public housing authorities and property owners to include written adverse action notices when denying applicants due to issues with tenant screening reports or background checks. Other agencies, like the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, also joined in this effort. The Federal Trade Commission provided updated guidance to landlords on complying with this requirement.
  2. $10 Million for Tenant Outreach and Education: HUD allocated funding to support tenant education and outreach in properties with Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance. This funding reinforces the administration’s commitment to affordable housing and tenant protections. It supports efforts to preserve affordable housing and informs tenants of their rights and responsibilities.
  3. Extended Notice for Evictions: HUD plans to propose a rule requiring written notice of at least 30 days before evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent in public housing and properties with project-based rental assistance. This proposed rule aims to prevent unnecessary evictions by providing tenants with more time and information to address nonpayment issues. Currently, these tenants are entitled to a 30-day notice, but this rule would permanently formalize this requirement and enable HUD to communicate and implement these protections effectively. Feedback from tenants and other parties will be considered during the rulemaking process.
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