COVID-19 Information & Fall Plans

For students concerned about eviction

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From Maryann Haytmanek, mhaytmanek@northampton.edu or 610-961-4555

The Centers for Disease Control has released a statement that provides a rent moratorium for people who are having a hard time paying rent due to COVID-related circumstances.  There are specific means (listed below) to qualify for this moratorium.  The moratorium does NOT remove the responsibility to pay rent, it only allows the tenant to delay payment until December 31,2020, if not before that time.  Please read the following carefully..

In order to take advantage of this opportunity, you will need to complete a statement ensuring the landlord that you meet the qualifications for this opportunity to defer your rent.  You can find the statement here.  All  adults in the household, not only the person who pays the rent, is required to complete the form.

You must meet each of the five requirements:

1. You have used your best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing.

(“All available government assistance” means every program run by the state, county, or city/town government to provide rental or housing payments to you or any household member. It is not required that you seek rental assistance from private organizations such as charities.)

2. You meet one of the following:

  • You expect 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, or
  • You were not required to report any income in 2019 to the IRS, or
  • You received a stimulus paycheck during the pandemic

3. You cannot pay the full rent or make a full housing payment due to one of the following reasons:

  • Substantial loss of income
  • Loss of compensable working hours
  • Loss of wages
  • You were laid-off
  • You had extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses  (an "extraordinary" medical expense is any unreimbursed medical expense likely to exceed 7.5% of one’s adjusted gross income for the year)

4. You are trying to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as your circumstances may allow.

5. Eviction would likely make you homeless or force you to move into close quarters or shared living settings because you have no other housing options.

For more information, go to https://www.covid19evictionforms.com/

Once you have determined that you may be eligible, here is the process:

  • Gather your documents, and complete and sign the form. Make sure that each adult in the household has completed their own individual form. Submit only the form(s) for each adult, not the documentation.   You should make sure that you can access any of the proof in case there is a challenge.  You are stating on a legal document that you cannot pay your rent and that eviction would cause you and the members of your household to become homeless or need to move in with other people, increasing the chances of anyone in the group of being exposed to the COVID virus.  Examples of documents:
    • a letter that shows your employment was terminated or paychecks showing that your hours were reduced;
    • any applications that show you applied for government assistance to pay your rent, e.g., PHFA rent assistance, county or city programs, etc.
    • a W2 form from the previous year showing that your salary was less than $99,000 and that you do not foresee making that much in 2020
  • Present the form to your landlord. If you can, hand it to the landlord so you know he or she received it.  If you deliver it to an office/apartment manager, secretary or receptionist, ask for a receipt that someone in the office received it. You can even write the statement that you delivered it on a certain date and simply ask that the person who took it to sign it and keep it for your records.  If you email it, arrange to . .. . .  If you send it in the mail, send it asking for a return receipt through certified mail.  Keep dated copies of the form, the receipt you received, and your attempts to deliver in person, through the mail, and electronically.
  • Once you submit the form, your landlord cannot threaten eviction, even if you have already received an eviction notice.
  • The rent moratorium will not pay your rent or any part of it. It only gives you a break from paying your entire rent until December 31, 2020.  Make your best effort to work out how you can pay some amount towards your rent each month.   
  • Keep copies of all documents such as income verification, notice to landlord, loss of employment or hours reduced

 

You can contact North Penn Legal Services, 877-953-4250 or www.northpennlegal for more information or with questions. 

 

From Maryann Haytmanek, mhaytmanek@northampton.edu or 610-961-4555