COVID-19 RESPONSE2020-04-28T21:08:42+00:00

NEW LAWS that protect you & your family:


during the Coronavirus Crisis

The DC Council passed emergency laws to help you. Here are the key ones.

  • NO EVICTIONS: Housing providers are prohibited from evicting any residential or commercial tenant, charging a late fee, or raising the rent during the emergency.
  • TENANT RIGHTS DEADLINE EXTENSION: Tenant and tenant association deadlines under the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) and the Rental Housing Act are extended until 30 days after the end of the emergency.
  • NO UTILITY DISCONNECTION: Gas, water, electric, cable, and internet companies cannot disconnect services during this emergency.
  • NO FORECLOSURES: DC Superior Court has suspended all foreclosure and eviction proceedings. All Housing Court and Landlord and Tenant Court hearings are postponed.
  • MORTGAGE PAYMENTS: This law creates an option to develop a deferment program that grants at least a 90-day deferment for mortgage payments. (Local lenders are required to defer payments for 90 days without added fees if borrowers can demonstrate financial hardships related to the pandemic.) Homeowners with loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may be eligible to defer payments for up to a year. Renters can call the Office of the Tenant Advocate at (202) 719-6560 for additional support, including legal help.
  • NO NEW DEBT COLLECTIONS: During the public health emergency and for 60 days after it’s over, no creditor or debt collector will be able to file new collection lawsuits.
  • UNEMPLOYMENT: This law allows for flexibility to add additional unemployment benefits from the federal government and the ability to waive some requirements. To file for UI benefits, go to DCnetworks.org; if you don’t have internet access, call (202) 724-7000.
  • GRADUATION: This law addresses some of the concerns by giving a waiver opportunity for seniors who would have graduated except for not meeting certain requirements.
  • DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS: You can get help! You can still file for temporary protection orders with DC Courts. Call or text the 24/7 hotline, (844) 4HELPDC for crisis housing, counseling, legal advocacy, and medical forensic care. If you’re afraid or unable to talk to a 911 operator, text to 911.


Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton suggests the following resources during the coronavirus pandemic.

Get UPO's best articles right in your inbox