Coronavirus Stimulus Package FAQ: Housing/Utility & Nutrition Assistance

April 2, 2020

Last week, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, and it was signed into law by President Trump on Friday. 

To help Connecticut residents understand the details of the bill and how it can potentially provide assistance during the COVID-19 crisis, Senator Chris Murphy's office has compiled a list of frequently asked questions. Addressed below are questions relating to housing and issues related to utility and nutrition assistance

For further information on the state's response to the coronavirus, visit ct.gov/coronavirus

Housing

What if I can’t pay my rent?

  • The law provides additional protections from eviction for all renters who live in properties that receive a federal subsidy, such as public housing, Section 8 rental assistance vouchers or subsidies, USDA rental housing assistance, or Low Income Housing Tax Credits. It also covers any renters in properties where the owner has a federally backed mortgage loan, which includes loans backed by the FHA, USDA, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

  • Owners of multifamily rental properties with federally-backed loans will be eligible to receive forbearance on those loans for 90 days, during which period they may not evict or charge late fees or other penalties to tenants for nonpayment of rent.

  • Owners of federally-subsidized properties or properties with a federally-backed mortgage loan may not evict or charge penalties or fees to a tenant who cannot pay rent for 120 days following this act.

What if I need assistance with my mortgage?

  • The CARES Act provides American homeowners with important protections to help keep them in their homes. Homeowners with FHA, USDA, VA or other federally-backed mortgages including those guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may request forbearance on payments for up to 12 months with no fees, penalties, or extra interest.

  • The law also includes a 60 day moratorium on foreclosures and evictions of homeowners with FHA, USDA, VA, or 184/184A loans, or whose mortgages are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
For more information on Governor Lamont's recent announcement regarding further mortgage relief for Connecticut residents, click here

Utility and Nutrition Assistance

Is there utility assistance and am I eligible?

  • The law provides an additional $900 million for LIHEAP to help lower income households heat and cool their homes. You can check your eligibility here.

  • Connecticut has also ordered our utilities not to terminate service to customers during this crisis.

Is there nutrition assistance and am I eligible?

  • The law provides $15.5 billion in additional funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). You can check your eligibility here.

  • The law also provides $450 million for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) to assist food banks across the country. You can look up local food banks here.

  • The law also expands food delivery service for seniors to ensure that seniors eligible for certain nutrition assistance programs can still receive that assistance if they are practicing social distancing.