PA 08-22—HB 5623

Human Services Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING ELIGIBILITY FOR EMERGENCY HOUSING ASSISTANCE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

SUMMARY: This act allows recipients of Temporary Family Assistance (TFA) or State Supplemental benefits who are foreclosure defendants to be eligible for Department of Social Service (DSS) emergency housing benefits when a foreclosure judgment is entered, rather than when the property owner's right to redeem has expired.

By law, when a strict foreclosure judgment is entered, the court sets a “law date” by which the property owner must make full payment on the property or lose ownership. The time to redeem the property does not expire until the end of the foreclosure process, which may limit a person's ability to secure emergency housing.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2008

BACKGROUND

Special Needs Benefit for Emergency Housing

By law, DSS is required to provide a special needs benefit for emergency housing to recipients of TFA or State Supplemental benefits if they lose their permanent housing under any of the following conditions:

1. the family is being evicted for non-criminal reasons;

2. the family's home is being foreclosed and the time limit for redemption has passed;

3. the family has left its current housing situation to avoid domestic violence;

4. local health officials have told the family it must move because a child in the family has unacceptable lead levels in his blood and the residence is the source of the lead;

5. a catastrophic event makes the residence uninhabitable;

6. a local housing code official has ordered the family to vacate;

7. the family has left a shared living arrangement where the primary tenant is in the process of being evicted, has received a preliminary eviction notice, has received a notice to quit for terminating a lease, or is engaged in criminal activity; or

8. the family was illegally locked out of the residence and has filed a complaint with the police.

The special needs benefit consists of payments for emergency housing (e. g. , shelters), is available only once during a calendar year, and covers up to 60 days during that occurrence. Applications must be submitted to DSS within 45 days of when permanent housing is lost. In addition to the basic benefit, individuals may be eligible for supplemental benefits, including security deposits, replacement clothing, and moving expenses.

OLR Tracking: ND: KM: PF: dw