COVID 19 and Housing

As COVID19 precautions and shutdowns continue, MHP will be monitoring the impact to affordable housing and advocating for policies that support housing stability for renters and homeowner, as well as production and preservation of affordable housing.

MHP calls: State and Federal Responses to COVID-19:

Recordings and other information from MHP’s 2021 COVID-19 call series found below. Registration and details of MHP’s 2021 Federal and State Legislative Update Calls can be found here.

  • July 24: Presentation slides (PDF): here, Recording: here
  • July 17: Presentation slides (PDF): here, Recording: here, Meeting chat (PDF): here
  • July 10: Presentation slides (PDF): here, Recording: here
  • June 26: Presentation slides (PDF): here, Recording: here
  • June 19: Presentation slides (PDF): here, Recording: here
  • May 22: Presentation slides (PDF): here, Recording: here
  • May 15: Presentation slides (PDF): here, Recording: here
  • May 8: Presentation slides (PDF): here, Recording: here
  • May 1: Presentation slides (PDF): here, Recording: here, Meeting chat (PDF): here
  • April 24: Presentation slides (PDF): here, Recording: here
  • April 17: Presentation slides (PDF): here, Recording: here
  • April 10: Presentation slides (PDF): here, Recording: here, Additional materials: here
  • April 3: Presentation slides (PDF): here, Recording: here
  • March 27: Presentation slides (PDF): here, Recording: here

Federal Response:

American Rescue Plan ActOn March 10, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package that includes $1,400 stimulus checks for qualifying Americans, supplemental $300 weekly unemployment payments through September 6, 2021, and $350 billion in state and local aid, among other provisions. The bill also provides over $20 billion for Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA); nearly $10 billion in Homeowner Assistance $5 billion through the HOME program formula to help jurisdictions secure housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness; $5 billion in emergency housing vouchers; $5 billion to cover home energy and water costs and arrears for impacted households; and $100 million to assist tenants living in USDA-subsidized developments, and; $39 million for USDA Sec 502 and 504 direct mortgage programs. Here is a summary of the bill’s provisions.

The CARES Act. 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President on March 27th, 2020. The CARES Act provides more than $12 billion in funding for HUD programs. NLIHC’s chart of House, Senate and final bill is found here; explanation of the bill’s housing provisions, prepared by NLIHC, is found here. CARES Act distributions to Minnesota jurisdictions of CDBG, ESG, CRF and HOPA can be found here.

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):

  • HUD’s COVID-19 Information and Resources Page, here
  • Questions and answers for HUD’s multi-family stakeholders, here (4.16.20)
  • CDBG: HUD COVID-19 Guidance Providing Waivers for CDBG CARES Act Supplemental Funding, here (4.9.20)

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA):

  • USDA Rural Development COVID-19 FAQ’s, Action, and Information, here

State Response:

You can access a full list of Governor Walz’s Executive Orders here.

Tenants who experience threats of eviction or removal from their home in violation of the Governor’s Executive Order on Evictions can file a complaint with the Minnesota Attorney General’s office here.

Minnesota Housing:

  • Minnesota Housing has published a data dashboard updated weekly on applications to COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP) here.
  • Minnesota Housing’s COVID-19 webpage is a central location for updates and information relating to COVID-19 and housing.
  • Minnesota Housing has a full description of federal resources from CARES act here

MHP Advocacy:

MHP is advocating for affordable housing resources and policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. MHP’s policy response prioritizes those with the greatest needs. MHP works in coalition with partners on supports to the affordable housing continuum.

Press Releases:

Letters to State Lawmakers and Agencies:

  • Letter from MHP and seven other organizations to Governor Walz, dated August 8, 2020, providing recommendations for eviction prevention. Read the letter here.
  • Homes for All Submits COVID-19 Response Letter. On March 14, the Homes for All Coalition asked that a top priority in any responsive legislation be funding for housing and homelessness prevention. Read the entire letter here.
  • On March 15, MHP sent a letter requesting $100 million in Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program (FHPAP) funding. Read the letter here.
  • On March 24, MHP’s Public Policy Advisory Group provided funding and administrative recommendations to Senator Jeff Hayden. Read the letter here.
  • On April 7, 2020, MHP sent a letter to Legislative Leadership urging support for Housing Assistance. Read that here.
  • MHP Factsheet: Recommendations for Local Government Action to support COVID-19 and Housing Stability, here. (May 2020)
  • Letter urging Minnesota DEED to prioritize CDBG funds for rental assistance and housing support dated May 7, 2020, signed by multiple organizations, here.
  • On May 14, 2020 MHP sent a letter to Legislative Leadership emphasizing the need for Housing Infrastructure Bonds, and General Obligation Bonds for public housing, here
  • On June 24, MHP provided recommendations to Minnesota Housing on support for BIPOC homeowners, BIPOC developers, and other topics as developed by its Public Policy Advisory Group. Read the letter here.

COVID-19 Housing Support Letters to Congressional Delegation:

  • On March 19, 2020, MHP sent a letter to the Minnesota Congressional Delegation urging inclusion of emergency housing support in response to COVID-19; read that letter here. On April 8, 2020 MHP sent a follow up letter urging support for housing needs on emergency housing assistance and rural housing needs, here.
  • On April 8, 2020 MHP and the Minnesota Chapter of Opportunity Starts at Home sent a letter, here, to the Minnesota Congressional Delegation urging support for emergency housing assistance.
  • Letter from 52 organizations to Congresswoman McCollum, dated April 28, 2020, requesting that she prioritize appropriations for housing and homelessness in the next COVID-19 response package, here.
  • On July 15, 2020 MHP and the Minnesota Chapter of Opportunity Starts at Home sent a letter, here to the Minnesota Congressional Delegation urging support for emergency housing assistance, a national uniform moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, unsheltered homelessness.
  • In a July 23, 2020 letter, here to Congressional leaders, MHP joined 100 organizations advocating for funding specific to rural communities. 
  • Letter from 60 organizations to the Minnesota Congressional Delegation, dated July 31, 2020, urging members to support emergency rental assistance, evictions and foreclosure moratorium, homelessness prevention funding, and a housing assistance fund for COVID-19 relief in Minnesota, here.
  • On January 25, 2021 MHP and 36 organizations sent a letter to Senators Smith and Klobuchar requesting their assistance in urging the U.S. Department of Treasury to rescind or substantially amend the Frequently Asked Questions issued on Jan 19th regarding the emergency rental assistance program. Read the letter here.

Letters to Local Government on COVID-19 Housing Stability Needs:

  • MHP letter to Hennepin County Commissioners on April 21, 2020, advocating for resources for emergency housing assistance, here.

MHP has signed on to these letters:

  • On Nov 23, 2020, MHP was a signatory on a letter to the IRS and Treasury in support of Housing Credit accommodations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Letter is here and brief explanation here.
  • Request for a national utility and water shut-off moratorium, here.
  • Request that Hennepin County provide additional emergency housing assistance, here.
  • Request, of March 19, 2020, to Congressional leadership to ensure federal COVID-19 response packages address the needs of people experiencing homelessness and housing stability for low-income individuals, here.
  • Advocating, in an April 16 letter to Minnesota recipients of CDBG allocations, that Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds Should Support Housing Assistance Programs, here.
  • Letter, dated May 14, 2020, to Governor Walz requesting that his office take action to protect energy and water customers during COVID-19, here.

National Equity Atlas is maintaining a dashboard that provides data on who is behind on rent and the estimated amount owed based on the March 17-29 Census Household Pulse Survey. Visit the dashboard and read our accompanying analysis.  

Analysis of Minnesota’s Rental Housing Stock COVID-19 Impacts by HousingLink and GMHF here. has a constantly updating list of utilities (including municipal utilities) that have and have not suspended disconnects amid COVID-19.

Greater Minnesota Housing Fund is conducting a monthly survey on the impact of COVID-19 on Minnesota renters and rental properties. View the summary of the monthly survey results for March through August 2020 here. View August’s survey results here.

HOMELine maintains COVID-19 evictions-related information here.

Stout maintains State and National Data on Evictions here.

Tenant and Rental Property Impacts, April 2020, here.

Tenant and Rental Property Impacts, May 2020, here.

The Eviction Lab maintains a list of emergency eviction policies and resources to help with evictions.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) has a updating list of COVID-19 resources, factsheets, research, and federal advocacy information, found here.Evictions-related memoranda prepared by Housing Justice Center:

  • Local Government Eviction Moratoria: An Analysis by Housing Justice Center, June 2020, here.
  • Local Government Eviction Moratoria: Housing Justice Center, June 2020, here. (legal citations included)

MHP Infographics and Research:

Data on Jobs, Race and COVID-19 in Minnesota (PDF)

Income, wage, and cost-burden impacts for state’s jobs most affected by COVID19 shutdowns. Click images to download graphics.

Data on wages and cost-burden for over 20 impacted jobs

Housing Assistance Saves People and Homes

MHP’s Response to COVID-19:

MHP offices are physically closed following the advice of national, state, and local public health authorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. MHP is working to reduce the burden on health care systems, along with our stakeholders and partners. We urge everyone to engage in social distancing and other preventative health behaviors as well. 

MHP business functions are fully operational for this period. Our meetings will switch to email, phone, and video conferencing. Technical assistance for rural and tribal communities will continue and we will continue to advocate for affordable housing both locally and nationally, as the economic downturn makes affordable housing that much more essential. 

Our work has never been more important. Housing is health care. We will continue to work toward our mission that everyone has safe, decent, affordable housing. Please continue to reach out to us on how we can help support you and your communities during this time.