Tenant & Landlord Resources

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Governor Mills Unveils Actions to Protect Housing for Maine People Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic


city of portland resources

City of Portland Emergency Order Language Regarding Housing (March 30, 2020)
Read full text here.
“...all owners of residential and commercial rental properties within the City of Portland are hereby requested to rescind or suspend all terminations of all leases or tenancies, including tenancies at will (both residential and commercial) for non-payment of rent beginning March 1, 2020 until 30 days after the termination of this Proclamation if the tenant is able to show an inability to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These circumstances include loss of income due to a COVID-19 related workplace or business closure, child care expenditures due to school closures, health care expenses related to being ill with COVID-19 or caring for a member of the tenant’s household who is ill with COVID-19, or reasonable expenditures that stem from government-ordered emergency measures. The requested limitation does not extend to cases where a tenant causes substantial damage to the property or the other bases for termination of tenancies contained in 14 M.R.S. § 6002(A), (B), (D), (E) & (F) nor would it eliminate the obligation of tenants to pay rent.

If you own a house or apartment building: If you are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, the federal government is offering relief options to homeowners through the recently passed CARES Act. No federally-backed mortgages (FHA; Fannie Mae; Freddie Mac; etc.) can be foreclosed for 60 days as of March 18, 2020 and owners of 1-4 family homes impacted by coronavirus have the right to request forbearance on mortgage payments for 180 days plus the right to request one additional 180-day extension. If you are a tenant:  Property owners with federally-backed mortgages (FHA; Fannie Mae; Freddie Mac; etc.) may not evict or initiate eviction of tenants (with limited income due to coronavirus) who live in properties with federally-backed mortgages within the property for nonpayment of rent for 120 days beginning on March 27, 2020. They are also unable to assess fees or penalties on any tenant for late payment of rent. Find out if your multi-family property is covered under the federal moratoriums here. You may also contact Vvolent@portlandmaine.gov for confirmation. Guidance for Landlords from Southern Maine Landlord Association (March 24, 2020) Read this blog post from the SMLA about communicating with tenants during COVID-19.  

Section 8 or HCV
Anyone who has Section 8 or Housing Choice Vouchers can let the Portland Housing Authority know and their rent will be adjusted accordingly. Section 8 will cover the difference in their rent. 

Rental Housing Rights View our Rental Housing Rights resource page.

Emergency Loan Program
The
emergency loan program assists owner occupied income eligible Portland residences who need an emergency repair. Repairs include dangerous, hazardous and unsanitary conditions creating an immediate danger to health or safety. Eligible repairs include plumbing, heating, electrical, water or sewer and roofing funds are limited up to $5,000 dollars per property.

Property Tax Deadline Extended
The deadline for Portland real estate and personal property tax payments has been delayed until June 1.

Affordable Housing Development
View our resources for developing affordable housing in Portland and information about Portland Housing Authority.

state of maine resources

Maine Income Tax Deadline Extended to July 15


The Bureau of Unemployment Compensation
On March 28, Congress enacted and the President signed new unemployment programs to provide relief to people affected by COVID-19. These new programs are complex, and State officials are working to implement them as quickly as possible. View the Maine Unemployment page for more information. 


If You Have Questions About Your Job
Unemployment, Family and Medical Leave (FMLA), or other info, visit Maine Department of Labor MDOL website
Unemployment: www.reemployme.maine.gov or 1-877-594-5627
Labor Law Information (Bureau of Labor Standards): 207-623-7900

COVID-19 Consumer Loan Program Relief
Find out more here. 


COVID-19 Rental Relief Program Maine Housing
Find out more here.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STIMULUS


Unemployment Insurance Expansion
  • Expands access to unemployment benefits to part-time, self-employed, and gig economy workers. 
  • Increases the weekly benefit amount for each person collecting benefits by $600 a week for the next 4 months. 
  • Extends benefits for an additional 13 weeks beyond the current maximum benefit period.
The language in the law is expansive with regard to who will be eligible. But the Maine Department of Labor has requested that self-employed people and others who have not paid into the unemployment insurance system hold off on applying until the expanded benefit is actually the law and a system is set up to accept their applications. That will help prevent claims from getting hung up in the unemployment computer system in a way that might delay the ability to claim self-employed benefits once the law is implemented. 

The CARES Act

For Individuals/Employees: 
The Act includes direct payments to individuals, with the following qualifications:
$1200 for individuals making less than $75,000/year and $150,000 for couples.

Those making more than these amounts (up to $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for couples) will see a reduction in the payment. 
For every qualifying child age 16 or under, the payment will be an additional $500. 

If you filed a tax return in 2019 or 2018, no action is required. If you did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019, you should file for 2019 as soon as possible. Find more info from the IRS HERE.

Individuals receiving unemployment benefits will be eligible for up to an additional $600 per week on top of state unemployment insurance. This added benefit will be available for up to 4 months.

Student Loan Relief
The bill suspends payments on federal student loans for 6 months and ensures that interest does not accrue during that period.