Working to Protect Neighbors in Need in Massachusetts (11/10/20)
The SVdP District Council of Attleboro is working to protect neighbors in need during the ongoing pandemic. They recently shared a Zoom presentation on the state of eviction moratoriums in Massachusetts. For ideas on how their work might be applicable in your own community, you can watch the presentation by clicking here.
Eviction Moratorium Provides Protection to Vulnerable Renters (9/10/20)
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently announced a broad moratorium on evictions for failure to pay rent, which lasts through the end of the calendar year. While this is welcome relief for millions of renters at risk of homelessness, it is important to note that this is a temporary postponement, not a permanent prevention. Furthermore, rent will continue to accumulate, so without a long-term solution many renters will face large bills in January 2021, essentially returning them to the same financial position they are in now.
Affected families must provide a signed declaration to their landlord attesting that they:
- Have made their ‘best effort’ to obtain government assistance;
- Expect to earn less than $99,000 in 2020 (or $198,000 married filing jointly) or did not need to report income to the IRS last year, or you received an Economic Impact Payment
- Have lost a substantial amount of income OR have very high out-of-pocket medical expenses;
- Are making an effort to make partial payments as feasible;
- Would become homeless or have to double up if evicted; and
- Understand that rent payment in full may be required at the end of the year.
Additionally, the CDC order makes clear that evictions can still take place in light of activity that damages property, threatens the health or safety of others, or violates laws or regulations.
You can read the full CDC order here, which includes a sample declaration. More information, including an FAQ with another sample landlord declaration, is available from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. The Coalition also maintains a searchable database of state and local rental assistance programs. See what is available in your area here.
Getting Economic Impact Help to Hard to Reach People (9/10/20)
As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by Congress earlier this year, many Americans received up to $1200 ($2400 for married couples) and an additional $500 per child in financial assistance to address the effects of the pandemic. Millions of people have not received these payments--many of them low-income families—and they must take action by October 15, 2020 to get their payment.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released this toolkit for community organizations to (1) get the word out, and (2) assist clients who have not yet received funds that can be used to buy food and pay bills: Helping Consumers Claim the Economic Impact Payment along with a customizable flyer for raising awareness.
Additional information and resources, including guidance for very specific and special circumstances, are available from the Get it Back Campaign.
Faith for Just Lending (7/7/2020)
On July 7, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a final, weakened version of its “Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans” rule just months before it was scheduled to take effect. The rule eliminates critical consumer protections that would have protected borrowers from predatory debt traps during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Payday loans, often with triple-digit interest rates, take advantage of short-term crises to trap families in long-term debt. The CFPB’s original 2017 rule included an ability to repay standard, which is a longstanding principle of the U.S. banking system. This would have prevented lenders from making unaffordable loans to vulnerable borrowers.
Faith for Just Lending, a coalition of Christian organizations and denominations representing millions of Christians across the country, responded. Click here to read a statement from Faith for Just Lending, signed by the National Council of the US Society of St. Vincent de Paul and other faith-based organizations.
Census Report Reveals Low-Income Adults Hardest Hit by COVID-19 (6/25/2020)
Local Councils Responding to the Coronavirus (4/30/20)
Research released earlier this week by the Census Bureau showed that low-income adults who lost employment during the Coronavirus pandemic suffer more mental health problems and have increased anxiety that they will be able to avoid becoming homeless. The same is true for younger households (ages 25-39).
To read more about this research and other insights into how households are coping with the pandemic, visit the Census Bureau website.
Nonprofit Help through the Payment Protection Program - Update (4/27/20)
Late last week Congress passed, and the President signed, legislation adding an additional $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), established by the CARES Act to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations through the pandemic. The PPP’s original funding was exhausted.
Some Councils have developed resources to help friends in need access assistance and information available at the state and local levels. Check out these examples from the Attleboro Council (MA).
Councils that have applied for but have not yet received a loan are encouraged to contact their financial institutions to learn more about the status of an application now that more money is available.
Individual and Family Cash Assistance (Economic Impact Payment) (4/14/20)
Check out our Nonprofit Business Operations page for more information on the assistance available to organizations.
Individuals will receive up to $1,200, married couples will receive up to $2,400. Individuals and families with children will receive an additional $500 per child. Benefits will go out as tax rebates via direct deposit and issued by the Internal Revenue Service. Benefits would begin to phase down at $75,000 adjusted gross income for individuals and $150,000 for joint filers.
Helping Friends in Need Access Coronavirus Assistance Programs (4/9/2020)
The recently-passed CARES Act and other federal government actions have provided many types of assistance to help people living in poverty cope with the pandemic. For more information about these programs, check out the archived recording here and download the slides here.
Councils across the country have also developed resources to help friends in need access assistance and information available at the state and local levels. Check out these examples from the Attleboro Council (MA).
Payment Protection Program (4/9/2020)
Remember to stay tuned to this page for regular updates and additional information to help your Conference and Council respond to this unprecedented time in our nation.
Many businesses, including nonprofit organizations, may be eligible for potentially forgivable loans from the Small Business Administration. Loans are equal to up to 2½ times the average monthly payroll costs (maximum of $10 million). Forgiveness is based on the use of the funds during an 8-week period beginning on the loan date, and to be forgivable they must be used 75% for payroll costs (as defined in the rules) and any remaining funds can be spent on interest on mortgage debt, or rent and utilities. The interest rate on these 2-year loans is 1% and payments are deferred for 6 months. Forgiven debt would not be treated as income for tax purposes. Loans are only available until June 30, 2020 (unless Congress extends the authorization in future legislation).
Please contact your lender for additional rules and definitions. Organizations can apply for a PPP loan through any federally insured depository (FDIC) institution, federally insured credit union, or participating Farm Credit System institution. *Lenders began processing loan applications on Friday, April 3, 2020.*
The bill only established a fund of $349 billion, so competition for loans will be intense.
"Payment Protection Program Loans Overview: How to Apply" (Fiscal Management Associates)
Nonprofit Business Operations and Coronavirus Response (3/31/2020)
Over the past month, Congress has passed a number of bills in response to the novel Coronavirus outbreak: the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Taken together, these bills will provide close to $3 trillion in economic relief to individuals, families, businesses, and communities.
Some of the provisions in these bills provide targeted assistance to nonprofits serving those in need, while others make changes to policies that could affect decision making regarding staff and operations. Download a primer from our COVID-19 response webpage, and stay tuned to www.svdpusa.org/covid-19 for more information and updates.
S 3548 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (3/26/20)
The Senate-passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (March 25), if passed by the House and signed by the President, will provide almost $2 trillion in quick, economic relief to individuals, families, businesses, and communities. Highlights include cash assistance to all individuals and families, expanded unemployment insurance, and assistance to nonprofit organizations. See a complete summary with links to more information here
HR6201 Familes First Coronavirus Response Act - How this affects SVdP (3/18/20)
On March 18 the Senate passed, and the President signed, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (HR 6201). The new law takes effect no later than April 2 and will expire December 31, 2020 (unless Congress extends some or all provisions).
The bill provides a variety of assistance to populations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the economy as a whole. The bill also provides protections to workers who are or could be effected by the virus, as well as supports for employers who could incur substantial increased costs.Read a full summary of the bill here