COVID Update for Section 8
A special COVID update for Section 8 participants and landlords.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) passed on March 27, 2020, provides certain tenant protections and limitations on landlords and property owners.
PHA Section 8 Participants
The CARES Act prohibits evictions for tenants with Section 8 rental assistance. This means that you cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent through July 25, 2020. This protection only applies to new eviction cases for nonpayment of rent. You must always pay your rent. The CARES Act only protects you from eviction temporarily.
If you are not able to pay your rent, please call your Program Representative immediately (see below to locate their contact information) to discuss any changes in your family’s income or organizations that may be able to help you.
If you receive any legal notice, please call your Program Rep. Also, call RI Legal Services at (401) 274-2652, RI Center for Justice (401 491-1101 or your private attorney for advice. Never ignore the notice and never go to court without legal representation.
Evictions without going to court are illegal. In April of 2020, the Rhode Island Attorney General issued guidance regarding landlord-tenant disputes, emphasizing that “self-help” evictions – in which landlords go around the court process to try to force tenants out – are unlawful. An owner cannot force you to leave without a court order. They are also not allowed to prevent tenants from accessing the property, throw belongings out, and/or cut off utilities. If someone comes to move you out or engages in any of these “self-help” eviction tactics, call the police for immediate assistance, then inform your Program Rep and an attorney.
The CARES Act prohibits evictions for tenants with Section 8 rental assistance or in properties with a federally-backed mortgage. These tenants cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent through July 25, 2020. This protection only applies to new eviction cases for nonpayment of rent.
Tenants must always pay their rent; if your Section 8 tenant is having trouble paying their portion of the rent, please advise them to call their Program Representative (see contact information below). If you do need to begin an eviction action after July 25th, please remember to forward a copy of the legal notice to the PHA Program Representative as well as the tenant.
Reminder: Evictions without following the court process (or “self-help” evictions – see section above for examples) are illegal. Also note that if and when filing for an eviction, you will be required to sign an affidavit as to whether the tenant is covered under the CARES Act. All Section 8 participants are covered under the Act.
Contact Your Program Representative
See below for a list of program representatives in the PHA’s Leased Housing department. Because we are still working from home, we ask that you leave a message when you call or send us an email. We are responding within 24-48 business hours.
Not sure who your program rep is? You can call 401-709-1600 or email Section8@provhousing.org.