HUD Announces Proposed “30-Day Notice” Rule for Nonpayment of Rent

By: Danielle Hubley, Advocacy & Education Manager, Partnership for Strong Communities

On December 1 2023, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed a rule change that, if finalized, would mandate that Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) and property owners in HUD multifamily project-based rental assistance programs provide tenants with a written notice at least 30 days prior to filing for eviction due to nonpayment of rent in court. The Partnership responded to the opportunity for public comment in support of the proposed rule change, citing the increase in inflation and other cost of living, the increase in CT households facing eviction in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the benefit to households, children and families, and the state/federal government that come with ensuring households remain stably housed. While supportive of the proposed rule change, the Partnership also felt it equally important to note that this action alone will not result in the large scale reform necessary to address the growing instability many households are and have been facing. There are many other facets that also need attention, including the rapidly rising cost of rents, the significant shortage of physical housing being developed, and a history of disinvestment in rental assistance programs that would alleviate the number of households and landlords who are impacted by this rule change. You can view the Partnership’s public comment submission in full below.

Public Comments from The Partnership for Strong Communities in response to HUDs FR-6387-P-01 30-Day Notification Requirement Prior to Termination of Lease for Nonpayment of Rent.

The Partnership for Strong Communities is a statewide nonprofit policy and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring everyone in Connecticut has a safe, stable home that is affordable to them in an equitable community of their choice.

The Partnership is supportive of the proposed rule. In Connecticut, the cost of rent continues to steadily rise alongside inflation and other necessary costs of living and creates a challenge for many renters in comfortably affording their housing stability. With rents increasing 33% since 2017, Connecticut has seen even more families facing evictions at rates higher than pre-pandemic averages. 53% of

Connecticut renters are already cost burdened, spending more than 30% of their gross monthly income just on rent.

All this to say, extending the period of time tenants have to respond to an eviction notice can only serve as a benefit to all parties, the government included. In a report submitted to the state legislature, Connecticut – the third state in the US to launch a right-to-counsel program, saved between $5.8 and $6.3 million between January through the end of November 2022. Allowing tenants with equitable and accessible legal counsel more time to resolve disputes with their landlords not only has a cost benefit to the state, but to those households as well.

Equally worthy of note, the Connecticut Department of Education reported recently that there are 2,516 students experiencing homelessness to date in the 2022-23 school year, with an absenteeism rate of about 85%. When we advance policies aimed at keeping people housed and avoiding evictions, we also ensure that children maintain routines important and necessary to their development. We reduce stress for caregivers who are trying to facilitate healthy environments for their children and themselves by ensuring they continue to have a roof over their head.

Concerns voiced thus far include seeing this rule as both potentially a financial and administrative burden to property owners. While these concerns are worth consideration, they ultimately do not outweigh the importance of providing tenants with additional time to respond to an eviction notice. Housing is not currently but should be designated as a human right and more importantly it should be treated as such. Maslow’s hierarchy of need dictates that in order to meet our social, relational, and personal needs, we need to first meet our safety and biological needs– these include basic human necessities such as food, water and shelter.

While we are supportive of this proposed rule change, we feel it is equally important to note that this action alone will not result in the large-scale reform necessary to address the growing instability many households are and have been facing. There are many other facets that also need attention, including the rapidly rising cost of rents, the significant shortage of physical housing being developed, and a history of disinvestment in rental assistance programs that would alleviate the number of households and landlords who are impacted by this rule change.

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