COVID-19 has left struggling Connecticut households vulnerable to housing insecurity and homelessness due to unemployment and sporadic job security related to the pandemic.
The state of Connecticut has put in place programs to relieve homeowners, tenants and landlords, as well as for homeless people and prisoner re-entry. Advocacy and provider groups are also available to help bridge gaps in services.
If you are experiencing a housing emergency, call 211 (a free, confidential information and referral service that connects Connecticut residents to essential health and human services 24 hours a day, seven days a week online and over the phone in more than 150 different languages.)
Text for resources: CTWARM, CTFOOD, CTRECOVERY to 8898211
A state-run search for housing can be made, here.
A list of resources can be found below:
Federal evictions moratorium: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an order on Sept. 4, 2020, that protects most renters from eviction for nonpayment of rent through Dec. 31, 2020. You can find out more about whether you qualify, here.
State evictions moratorium: Governor Lamont extended protection for residential tenants who made rent payments as of Feb. 29, 2020, effectively for the duration of the declared health emergency. The current extension of the executive order prohibits landlords from filing eviction notices through Dec. 31, 2020.
Rental assistance: Temporary Rental Housing Assistance Program (TRHAP), administered by the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, had been tapped for millions of dollars due to the large volume of interest. The TRHAP program has been paused since Dec. 3, but the state does plan to restart it after the program can work through a backlog of cases.
The TRHAP program is available to tenants who have made rent payments as of Feb. 29, 2020.
If you have any questions or concerns about fair housing protection, or believe you have experienced discrimination in housing, please call the the Connecticut Fair Housing Center at (860) 247-4400 or (888) 247-4401 (toll free), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mortgage forbearance: The federal government offers mortgage forbearance to eligible homeowners with loans backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or other federal agencies like the Federal Housing Authority or U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Credit: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority has a call center staffed to help homeowners access mortgage relief and foreclosure prevention programs. These are open to the property of primary residence, and to homeowners with a source of income, either through employment or Social Security and other benefits.
The call center is 860-785-3111, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. They can help residents navigate:
Foreclosure moratorium: A state moratorium on foreclosure proceedings, foreclosure-related evictions, and foreclosure sales for federally-backed mortgages has been extended until Dec. 31, 2020.
Credit protection: Lenders with homeowners with federally-backed mortgages who took advantage of mortgage forbearance or modified payments due to COVID-19 are required to report account statuses prior to the accommodation being granted, until the homeowner becomes current with payments, until the national emergency declaration is terminated.
In Connecticut, over 50 credit unions and banks now offer mortgage relief to state residents. Contact your mortgage lender for details.
Homeless shelters: Governor Lamont ordered on March 31, 2020, that reducing congregant housing in shelters would be necessary to protect public health and safety during the pandemic. Shelters and other housing providers are allowed to coordinate with the state Commissioner of Housing to secure alternative housing in hotel and motel rooms, and other facilities, for people experiencing homelessness.
The Connecticut Coalition To End Homelessness has released toolkits for the hospitality industry to operate as a shelter, while following COVID-19 pandemic guidelines. Highlights include: Symptom Screening and Triage Protocol, Client Expectations Takeaway Sheet, Client Meals and Medication Refill Form, and a sample Client Agreement Form.
Housing advocacy and provider groups in Connecticut: Some grants are not available to individuals. It funds community-based organizations that work on the frontlines with individuals impacted by COVID-19.
Fairfield County COVID-19 Resiliency Fund
Serving Fairfield County
Greater New Haven COVID-19 Community Fund
Serving Ansonia, Bethany, Branford, Cheshire, Derby, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Milford, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton, Wallingford, West Haven and Woodbridge.
Connecticut Community Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund
Serving Beacon Falls, Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Cheshire, Goshen, Litchfield, Middlebury, Morris, Naugatuck, New Milford, Oxford, Plymouth, Prospect, Roxbury, Southbury, Thomaston, Warren, Washington, Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott and Woodbury.
The William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund
Serving the state of Connecticut