Two weeks after the DC Council unanimously passed emergency COVID response legislation, a supplemental bill is in the works to expand the protections offered in light of the pandemic.
DC Council Chair Phil Mendelson has requested to put the COVID-19 Response Supplemental Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 on the council's agenda next week.
The bill offers relief for both tenants and landlords, starting with a requirement that mortgage servicers on residential and commercial loans allow affected mortgagees to defer mortgage payments for at least 90 days. The deferment program must also include waiving any late fees or other ancillary fees and refraining from reporting derogatory marks to credit bureaus.
Any landlord mortgagee granted deferments must reduce the rent of its tenants during the duration of the deferment period, at a rate proportionate to the reduced mortgage payments. Mortgagees would then either make the deferred payments at the conclusion of the original term, or via some other arrangement made with the servicer.
Tenants would also be exempted from rent increases if the increase would have taken effect during or was communicated during the public health emergency.
The bill also clarifies the rules around unemployment insurance and paid leave, adds a "wage replacement program" for workers who aren't eligible for unemployment insurance, and bans debt collectors from initiating communication with debtors.
Other provisions in the bill include a tax credit for affected small retailers and a ban on cutting off phone or cable service for nonpayment through 15 days after the emergency is lifted. The bill also enables the city to borrow up to $300 million to meet financial obligations through the end of the fiscal year (September 30th).
All provisions of the COVID Response bills would be valid at least through the duration of the public health emergency.
UrbanTurf's Coverage of COVID-19
- The Drive-Thru COVID Testing Rundown for the DC Area
- DCBIA to Lobby For Local Mortgage Relief To Help Renters
- From Virtual Open Houses to Focus Forums, How DC Brokerages are Maintaining Physical Distance
- Pandemic Puts DC Historic Review Applications On Hold
- One Title Company Implements Drive-Thru Closings
- How Coronavirus is Affecting Property Showings in the DC Area
- How Well is DC Doing at Social Distancing?
- Lyft To Donate Free Essential Rides
- Bank of America Allowing Borrowers to Defer Mortgage Payments
- A Look at 5 Housing Non-Profits in DC
- Van Ness Co-op Building Implements Strict COVID-19 Measures
- HUD, FHFA Suspend All Evictions, Foreclosures Through April
- Two Grocers and Mega Retailer Change Hours for Seniors
- DC Council Passes Sweeping COVID-19 Emergency Bill
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/proposed-supplemental-dc-covid-bill-greatly-expands-tenant-protections/16676.
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