Project Spotlight: Protecting Tenants At Foreclosure

NLIHC is one of the leading organizations advocating for the rights of renters at foreclosure. Making permanent the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA) is a top policy priority for NLIHC.

Foreclosures devastate families and neighborhoods and hamper economic recovery. As landlords have defaulted on their mortgages, renters in good standing have been evicted from properties in foreclosure with little or no notice. NLIHC research shows that renters make up as many as 40% of the households facing foreclosure.

In 2009, the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA) was introduced to provide renters with housing stability when their homes are foreclosed on. Before the enactment of the federal PTFA, it was legal in many states for tenants to be required to move on only a few days’ notice. Under the PTFA, most tenants now have the right to remain in their home for the remainder of their lease, or for at least 90 days. However, the PTFA is set to expire at the end of 2014.

Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have introduced the Permanently Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, H.R. 3543 and S. 1761 respectively, that would remove the 2014 sunset date, making the law permanent. The legislation would also add a private right of action to the law as an enforcement mechanism. NLIHC helped lead a national call-in day during which advocates contacted the Members of their Congressional delegation to urge them to co-sponsor the Permanently Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act.

NLIHC organized sign-on letters to members of the Senate and House of Representatives on June 2, urging them to co-sponsor the Permanently Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act. NLIHC’s efforts resulted in an impressive 22 national organizations and 358 state and local organizations signing the letter. NLIHC has also helped advance the legislation by educating our 2014 conference attendees on the issue prior to the Lobby Day, where constituents hade meetings on the Hill and directly asked their elected officials to co-sponsor the legislation.

NLIHC will continue to advocate for making PTFA stronger and permanent, as well as for other foreclosure interventions on behalf of renters.



The Solution

Home is the foundation. How do we ensure that every American has an affordable one? Watch the video to find out.

Our Favorite Accomplishments of 2012

We emailed our supporters last week to do a little bragging about what we’ve been up to this year. This has been such a busy year for the National Low Income Housing Coalition that we couldn’t fit all our work into one email! Instead, we thought we’d share some of our staff’s other favorite 2012 accomplishments here on our blog.

National Housing Preservation Database

Project-based housing is a crucial part of our national strategy to prevent and end homelessness. But some of this housing is at risk of leaving the affordable inventory for a variety of reasons. Preserving this housing is good policy; it is a cost-effective way to invest in our communities.

The National Housing Preservation Database is a powerful new tool for preserving America’s affordable rental housing. The database provides communities with the information they need to effectively preserve their stock of public and assisted housing. It is part of NLIHC’s longstanding, data-driven effort help preserve this vital supply of affordable rental homes.

State Housing Profiles

We’ve always provided housing advocates with Congressional district-level information on the housing need in their communities. This year, NLIHC launched our State Housing Profiles, which provide key information about the housing available to extremely low income people, and the need for that housing, in each state. This information is perfect to use when advocating with your Senators, as well as with state legislators and your governor.

2011 Annual Report

Our 2011 annual report, Dedication, tells the story of NLIHC’s dedication to leadership, empowerment, analysis, and collaboration, and to our members and other supporters, using the new color scheme, logo and icons developed in concert with our new website.

Renters in Foreclosure: A Fresh Look at an Ongoing Problem

In 2009 NLIHC worked to help enact the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA), a law to ensure that renters in foreclosure have the right to at least 90 days’ notice before having to move after a foreclosure. Currently, the law is set to expire at the end of 2014 unless Congress takes further action. Our new research shows that the number of renters impacted by the foreclosure crisis has grown over the last three years, and if the law expires, these renters will be once again vulnerable to eviction with minimal notice. As such NLIHC has worked this year to line up support for efforts in the House and Senate that would make the PTFA a permanent and stronger law.

We’ve worked hard this year to advance socially just housing policy that assures the lowest income Americans have access to affordable and decent homes. If you agree that these accomplishments are important and if you value our work, please make a year-end donation to the National Low Income Housing Coalition so that we can continue to be strong advocates for the housing needs of low income people in 2013.

News Round-Up: Support for Solutions

Often, housing news seems bleak. Low income tenants are subjected to deplorable living conditions, victims of domestic violence often find themselves choosing between staying in a violent home or becoming homeless, and renters whose landlords are in foreclosure don’t realize their right to stay in their homes. But a recent poll shows the American people are supportive of real solutions to our country’s housing challenges.

Nearly half the renters in the area of which Victoria, Texas is a part cannot afford to rent a modest two-bedroom apartment there at the Fair Market Rent. The Victoria Advcoate tells the story of how one woman and her granddaughter live on a low fixed income in a cheap apartment, where weak landlord-tenant laws and lax regulation can mean suffering for families who can’t afford better.

The shrinking supply of affordable housing means victims of domestic violence have fewer places to go when leaving unsafe relationships, according to RH Reality Check. The author says that “a national increase in the availability of both short-term shelters as well as long-term housing options” is essential to ensure that domestic violence survivors do not become homeless.

A British magazine for housers investigates the homelessness crisis in San Francisco and the work advocates are doing to solve it. Noting that NLIHC found San Francisco to be the most expensive metro area in the country to rent, the article points out that the shortage of affordable housing is the greatest impediment to ending homelessness for that city.

Multifamily Executive reports on new NLIHC research showing that renters still make up at least 40% of households impacted by foreclosure. Renters in low income and minority neighborhoods are disproportionately impacted by the foreclosure problem.

And now for the good news: Affordable Housing Finance, DSNews and Multifamily Executive all report on the poll released by NLIHC on October 9 that shows that the majority of Americans support modifying the mortgage interest deduction to make it more targeted to helping middle and low income households, and that 69% of Americans support federal government programs to support rental housing. NLIHC seeks to use the savings from mortgage interest tax reform to capitalize the National Housing Trust Fund, which, once funded, would build, rehabilitate and preserve affordable rental housing for the lowest income Americans.

News Round-Up: Foreclosed

Both the Charlotte Post and Affordable Housing Finance wrote about our recent report on the impact of the foreclosure crisis on renters. As AHF notes, we argue that “nationwide data must be made available to better assess the impact of foreclosures on renters and urges that 2009’s Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, which is set to expire at the end of 2014, be made permanent.”

We also call for immediate funding for the National Housing Trust Fund to build and rehabilitate housing affordable to extremely low income and very low income people. Making more housing available and affordable would be another way to protect renters, by ensuring access to housing at a rent lower income people can afford. Various funding proposals (PDF) exist for the NHTF, and NLIHC works to build support for them in Congress.