The Biden administration has recently introduced a series of measures aimed at safeguarding the rights of renters. These actions are designed to address issues related to outdated or erroneous screening reports, provide additional funding for tenant organizing, and ensure proper eviction notice.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Marcia Fudge, emphasized the importance of empowering renters and strengthening their communication with landlords. Fudge stated, "HUD is committed to working collaboratively with renters and ensuring that they are well-informed about their rights."

In an effort to better support renters and cater to their needs, HUD plans to inform both public-housing agencies and property owners about effective practices for rejecting potential tenants. By providing renters with greater opportunities to rectify any errors in the screening process, HUD aims to alleviate the challenges faced by many individuals in accessing housing. This move comes in response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's previous assertion that these screenings are often marred by inaccuracies that are difficult to correct.

Furthermore, the White House has announced that other government agencies, such as the Department of Agriculture and CFPB, will also issue guidance and best practices to housing operators and landlords. This collaborative approach intends to enhance tenant protections across the board.

Overall, these recent initiatives by the Biden administration reflect a crucial step towards bolstering tenant power and ensuring a fair and equitable rental market.

White House Focuses on Renters' Rights and Tenant Education

The White House has recently released guidance that aims to inform renters about the factors in their screening report that may lead to a denial of their rental application. In a statement, the administration emphasized the importance of transparency in this process.

To further support tenant education and outreach, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will allocate $10 million in new funding to properties participating in the Section 8 project-based rental assistance program. Additionally, HUD plans to propose a rule that would require landlords and managers of public housing and project-based rental assistance properties to provide tenants with a written notice of eviction at least 30 days before their lease termination due to nonpayment of rent.

The proposed rule is intended to prevent unnecessary evictions by giving tenants sufficient time and information to address any rent payment issues. While tenants in public housing and properties with project-based rental assistance already receive a 30-day notice for nonpayment of rent, this rule, if finalized, would officially codify this requirement in HUD's regulations. The agency believes that this would enhance communication and facilitate the implementation of these tenant protections.

The White House also acknowledges the efforts of private entities and local governments in advancing tenants' rights. As an example, Zillow has announced its plans to launch a comprehensive platform next year that will make it easier for renters to find affordable rental options. This platform will include listings that potentially qualify for Housing Choice Vouchers and income-restricted housing programs.

From the archives (January 2023): Recent data reveals that renters, on average, are spending 30% of their income on housing, a level not seen in decades. In response, the White House has introduced a comprehensive plan to address this issue and provide relief to renters throughout the country.

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