The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) has collaborated with the National Housing Law Project (NHLP) to create a new online toolkit providing a range of information for renters facing foreclosure-related evictions, their advocates, and others, including members of the media. The components of the toolkit explain the implications of the recently passed Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-22, Division A, Title VII), a bill that offers important new rights to tenants living in properties that have gone into foreclosure.
The toolkit, part of the "Special Topic: Renters in Foreclosure" portion of NLIHC’s Web site, includes the following:
► A copy of the new law, Public Law 111-22, Division A, Title VII.
► A one-page explanation of the provisions included in the new law.
► A question and answer document for tenants.
► Sample letters for use by tenants, including Section 8 voucher holders, to send to landlords, judges and public housing agencies.
► A Webinar, which provides viewers with a visual and audio explanation of the new law.
“Under the law, these blameless victims of the foreclosure crisis are now protected,” said NLIHC President Sheila Crowley. “The toolkit provides tenants and their advocates with the information necessary to protect families from being evicted unlawfully.”
The new law is part of S. 896, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, which passed the House and Senate on Tuesday, May 19. Signed by the President on May 20 and effective immediately, the bill provides renters whose landlords have lost their properties to foreclosure the right to stay in the home for 90 days after the foreclosure or through the term of their lease unless the property is sold to someone who will occupy the home. The bill also provides additional protections to housing voucher holders.
NLIHC estimates that 40 percent of the households who lose their homes because of foreclosure are renters. Before the passage of the law, renters in most states received little or no notice to vacate their homes upon their landlords’ foreclosures. Advocates fear that many of the tenants to which this new law applies will be unaware of their new rights and could still be evicted prematurely.
"This law constitutes a key piece of the neighborhood stabilization puzzle. It will help protect the market value of foreclosed properties while it mitigates the trauma of forced relocation on families," said Dave Rammler, NHLP attorney and director of government relations. “These materials will help ensure that tenants, courts and the real estate community are aware of the law and that tenants' rights are upheld.”
For more information, visit www.nlihc.org.