COVID-19 Information for Louisiana
The purpose of this page is to provide apartment industry professionals with an overview of the issues affecting our industry with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. The page is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal advice. This resource is not intended to provide a mandatory standard of care for the industry.
State and Local Affiliates
Please remember to use your state or local apartment association as the primary resource for the most up-to-date information on your responsibilities. Find your local affiliate.
State Legal and Regulatory Information
We highly suggest you contact a local attorney before you decide to initiate an eviction action against a resident in the current environment as overlaying federal, state and county laws or restrictions on the judicial process may apply. This includes: issuing a notice to vacate, initiating any eviction-related action, or assessing fees or penalties on residents for nonpayment of rent or other lease violations. In addition to the below, you can access NAA's statutory information on late fees, eviction laws and other policy issues.
Gov. John Bel Edwards has moved the state to a modified Phase Three while allows businesses to increase occupancy and bars to reopen in jurisdictions that do not have high incidence of illness.
Face Mask Mandate
Gov. John Bel Edwards signed an order continuing the statewide mask mandate for all individuals.
State of Emergency
Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency on March 11.
Status: Eviction Cases Can Resume
- Action: On March 17, Governor John Bel Edwards signed an executive order suspending deadlines in all legal proceedings. That order was extended until June 15, 2020.
- Scope: Applies to all civil cases, including evictions.
- COVID-19 Related Financial Impact Requirement: No.
- Residents Responsible for Rent: Yes.
Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance
No statewide emergency rental assistance for Louisiana.
No rent freeze is in effect at the state or local level. Local rent regulation is preempted by Louisiana Code: § RS 9:32S8.
Under Louisiana Code, § 732, it is unlawful to exceed prices ordinarily charged for goods and services prior to declarations of emergency. The statutory language applies to the sales of petroleum and gas products. However, other specific goods and services, such as rental housing, are not identified in the statute.
Business Liability Protections
On Wednesday, July 8, 2020, Gov. John Bel Edwards established protections for businesses against civil liability. Under the rules, businesses are protected against civil liability claims resulting from customer or employee exposure to COVID-19 while on premises if the business follows applicable federal, state, and local safety guidelines.
Local Legal and Regulatory Information
Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance
Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that the State has committed $10,382,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to the City of New Orleans for affordable housing. New Orleans will provide rental and utility assistance to low income households that have been impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. The rental assistance grant is based on the tenant’s ability to pay and the amount of funds needed to bring the account current.
Additionally, the City of New Orleans in partnership with Total Community Action is offering rental assistance to households that have been impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. The rental assistance program, which began on April 1, 2020, is open to individuals whose household income has been reduced as a result of COVID-19 and that are not receiving rental assistance through other organizations. Applicants are required to provide documentation of their hardship.
The program began with $500,000 which may be increased as more funding becomes available. The fund is expected to serve approximately 600 households with an average grant amount of $750 per household and is expected to last for 90 days or until such time that the funding is exhausted.
The program guidelines include:
- The program is designed to benefit low to moderate-income households impacted by COVID-19.
- Priority will be given to families with children, re-entering citizens and lower-income earning households. Consideration may be given to other vulnerable populations.
- Eligible tenants will have the grant paid to the landlord, directly benefitting the tenant and the landlord.
- The rent must be considered current by the landlord after receipt of the grant payment.
- The grant will be calculated based on the amount of rent owed and the tenant’s ability to pay a portion of the past due rent.
- Applicants will be required to provide documentation of their income and eligibility which may include check stubs, bank statements and/or a letter from your employer. Alternate documentation may be considered for individuals whose income was based on cash compensation.
- Funding to landlords will be limited to rental units with the City of New Orleans addresses.