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I've lost my job. Where do I go for temporary housing assistance?

There’s an overwhelming amount of news and activity around this question nationally. The Forbes website has managed to wrangle most of it into a well-organized blog that is updated as new initiatives at the federal, state and local level take effect.

On March 18, 2020, the federal government issued a 60-day moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for homeowners who cannot pay their federally backed mortgages. The administration said the moratorium should help financially strapped renters by giving landlords breathing room to pay their mortgage even if their tenants can’t pay their rent.

The picture is a more complicated one for renters. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development is encouraging public housing authorities to stave off tenant evictions, and some local housing authorities have adopted their own temporary bans on evictions.

The public health crisis is expected to have a profound effect on renters. Even with the assistance checks in the agreement reached by the U.S. Congress, renters who lose wages during the crisis can expect to spend a larger share of their income on rent.

If you can work out a plan with your landlord, do so as soon as you know you’re going to have trouble paying the rent.