COVID Update 6.30June 30, 2020
On Saturday morning, more than 40 volunteers arrived at Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS), many as early as 5:45 am, and worked with diligence, patience, and good cheer to distribute more than 1,400 boxes of fresh produce to residents throughout the Northwest Corner.
By the time we finished, we had survived a truck that was many hours late (huge thanks to Sam Herrick, HVRHS’s Business Manager, for eventually guiding the driver to the correct location via several phone calls), a fork lift with a flat tire, a couple of dead car batteries, and just enough rain to make a cardboard box pretty soggy. I made my last deliveries with my son Max, and we were both soaked in rain and sweat by the time we got home, but thoroughly filled with the grace and good will of everyone we interacted with throughout the day. Thank you to everyone from HVRHS, FFA, Boy Scout Troop 22, and many other community volunteers and organizations for participating and making the day a success. And a special thanks to Fishes and Loaves in North Canaan, which donated bread we added to the first group of boxes handed out.
Here’s a list of today’s topics:
- Executive Order No. 7DDD (including protection for renters, and extension of deadlines)
- State Department of Education releases comprehensive plan for returning to in-school, full-time instruction for the 2020-21 academic year
- Assistance for renters, homeowners, and residential landlords
- Supreme Court ruling on women’s right to choose
For several additional graphs and tables containing more data, including a list of cases in every municipality, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.
Governor Lamont signs Executive Order No. 7DDD, enacting the following provisions:
· Extended protections for residential renters affected by COVID-19: Extends the moratorium on residential evictions to August 22, and extends opportunities for residential renters to apply money from their security deposits to payment of rent.
· Authority to extend statutory and regulatory administrative deadlines by an additional 90 days: Expands by an additional 90 days the ability for state agencies to extend any statutory or regulatory deadlines for filings, decisions, and notice in the many permitting and other applications and administrative hearings under their purview, and requires agencies to post any changes on their respective web sites. This is an extension of the order originally issued in Executive Order No. 7M.
State Department of Education releases comprehensive plan for returning to in-school, full-time instruction for the 2020-21 academic year
The Connecticut State Department of Education released “Adapt, Advance, Achieve: Connecticut’s Plan to Learn and Grow Together,” a comprehensive plan that will serve as a roadmap for districts as they plan to reopen schools at the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year. The release of the document follows the announcement last week of a framework to allow all students – in all districts statewide – the opportunity to have access to in-school, full-time instruction in the fall as long as public health data continues to support this model.
To read the full plan, click here.
For more information, read the press release issued today by the State Department of Education.
Assistance for renters, homeowners, and residential landlords
Governor Lamont announced a comprehensive plan to put more than $33 million in state and federal resources to work providing emergency assistance to renters, homeowners, and residential landlords impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Elements of this plan include:
- $10 million rental assistance program for Connecticut residents impacted by COVID-19, administered through the Department of Housing, which will provide payments to landlords on behalf of approved tenant applicants, with a priority on lower-income households who have been denied unemployment insurance;
- $5 million for eviction prevention to help renters who were in the process of eviction before the declaration of the COVID-19 public health emergency;
- $10 million to provide mortgage relief to homeowners who have suffered impacts from COVID-19 and whose mortgages are not federally insured, administered by the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA);
- $4 million in rapid rehousing funds to help people pay costs like security deposits and initial rent to exit homelessness to housing, administered by the Department of Housing;
- $2.5 million rental assistance program for those who are ineligible for emergency assistance through the federal CARES Act, including those who are undocumented, administered by the Department of Housing;
- $1.8 million in funding for reentry and rehousing assistance for people exiting incarceration, administered by the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness;
- Extending the residential eviction moratorium to August 25, bringing Connecticut’s measures in line with federal measures (the CARES Act prevents evictions from most properties until late summer); and
- Extending the opportunity to apply a portion of any security deposit worth more than one month’s rent toward rental payments.
All housing assistance programs administered through the state and through CHFA will include housing counseling to help renters and homeowners problem solve and develop plans to pay housing costs going forward.
In addition to this assistance through the state, large Connecticut cities received $10 million under the CARES Act Emergency Solution Grants program to prevent homelessness and support homeless populations. The Connecticut Department of Housing is encouraging those municipalities to allocate some of that funding to provide rent arrearage assistance for low and very low-income families that are struggling to make ends meet.
Governor Lamont previously allowed and encouraged municipalities to provide homeowners a 90-day grace period on any property taxes due through July 1. His administration also partnered with local financial institutions to provide mortgagors financially impacted by COVID-19 more time to make their payments.
For more information on the resources, please see the following websites:
- Connecticut Department of Housing: portal.ct.gov/doh
- Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA): www.chfa.org
- Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH): cceh.org
Supreme Court ruling on women’s right to choose
On Monday the Supreme Court upheld a woman’s right to choose by striking down a Louisiana law designed to restrict the operation of abortion clinics in that state. This decision, by a narrow 5-4 majority, relied upon a nearly identical Supreme Court case from 2016, before the appointments of Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. There are more cases in the pipeline that present direct attacks on the seminal case Roe v. Wade, which established the fundamental right to abortion access. In 1990, Connecticut enacted the provisions of Roe v. Wade into law, so even if that case were overturned, women in CT would continue to be able to exercise their right to safe, legal, abortions.
Governor Lamont encourages residents to sign up for the state’s CTAlert notification system
Governor Lamont is encouraging Connecticut residents to sign up for CTAlert, the state’s emergency alert system, which provides text message notifications to users. To subscribe, text the keyword COVIDCT to 888-777.
Providing information to Connecticut residents
For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including an FAQ and other guidance and resources, residents are encouraged to visit ct.gov/coronavirus.