COVID-19 RENTER RESOURCES
CNE has instituted an eviction freeze through July 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe this is the compassionate action to take to ensure that our tenants who have lost their jobs or suffered other economic hardship during this time have shelter for themselves and family.
However, we encourage CNE tenants to make payment arrangements during this time as the missed rent payments will still need to be paid by August 1, 2020 unless payment arrangements have been previously approved.
Contact Zach Downs via email at or call at 423-756-6242 for assistance.
What are my options as a renter?
To reach a United Way Community Resource Specialist, dial 2-1-1, 423-265-8000, toll free 1-866-921-3035, or text your zip code to 898-211 to chat.
CNE is partnering with Legal Aid of East Tennessee and local attorneys to provide free legal assistance to those facing eviction during the COVID-19 crisis. Free legal assistance may also be available for other legal issues. Please call 423-756-6271 to leave a voicemail with your name and a phone number where you can be reached.
If you have questions about whether federal eviction applies to you, click HERE.
HUD has released a guide for tenants HERE.
If you are looking for legal resources to navigate your housing situation, please visit:
American Bar Association Free Legal Answers for qualifying residents is a website with volunteer attorneys answering questions
Having a place to live is important to your well-being. If possible, try to pay your rent or make payment arrangements with your landlord.
Recent federal legislation has expanded unemployment benefits as a response to COVID-19. The State of Oregon has a helpful Q&A page HERE, and the National Law Review also provides a helpful guide HERE. Click here to access the state of Tennessee's COVID unemployment information.
Stimulus checks from the Federal government have begun distributing. If you have questions about this process or whether or not you will receive a check, please check the IRS website Q&A.
If you are a qualifying individual or family that is unbanked - meaning the IRS does not have any bank account information on file from your last tax return - we recommend you visit the FDIC's resource page here. The Receiving IRS Economic Impact Payments page was developed by the FDIC to assist unbanked consumers to open a bank account online, so that they may receive their payments securely and timely. Learn more by watching this video. Without an insured bank account setup, unbanked consumers will have to wait for their check via mail, which can be lost or stolen.
We understand that recent COVID-19 related changes in our economy are limiting options for renters who are needing to remain in place for the safety of their families and our community. Currently, most organizations are responding to the crisis based on immediate need. Please see Local Resources for help.
Pending Legislative Implementation
The two evolving items that will impact the options available to you as a renter moving forward are:
The CARES Act - On Friday, March 27th, 2020, the President signed into law a $2 trillion coronavirus economic stimulus bill.
Check out landlord page to better understand the options available to your landlord and if their mortgage qualifies for forbearance
AVAIL.com is providing resources for landlords about COVID-19 response and the CARES Act
Advocacy - While we know there are resources allocated in the bill for housing issues, the implementation of this distribution will depend on a number of factors. Resources to help understand this are:
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of what CARES Act does do and what other areas will need to be addressed moving forward
See our Advocacy page for pending legislation around rental relief and information on contacting your local representatives to share what supports are needed for you and your family as a result COVID-19.
To see what elements of the stimulus that could affect my housing options, visit the National Updates section.
CNE is providing financial counseling to anyone who needs help in creating a spending plan, prioritizing how to spend cash, what bills get paid, etc. Please contact Ethan Pope at or call 423-756-6256 for help.
In "Surviving Debt: Expert Advice for Getting Out of Financial Trouble," a team of 20 experts from the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) walks you through how to rank debts and expenses.
The book starts with six steps to surviving debt. The first step is prioritizing debts whose nonpayment will immediately harm your family.
High priority: Rent, mortgage, auto loan, utilities and child support.
Low priority: Credit card and medical debt, student loans and debt owed to friends and family.
For all six tips, click here.
Demystifying Policy Resources
Apartment List Report of Affordability - Link to Statistics on housing burden included
2019 Housing Connections Report - A recent report about affordability challenges and recommendations for moving forward
Housing Wire - Overview of wages and housing prices
Harvard Article - Important information about eviction. One of the authors of this article wrote an important book about eviction, Evicted.