Millions of renters across the country face eviction as a federal moratorium set to expire at the end of July is unlikely to be extended, according to Bloomberg.
The federal ban on evictions, which has been in place through most of the pandemic, is one of a raft of emergency programs set to end despite officials sounding the (perpetual) alarm over the Delta variant.
While some states, including California and New York, have their own eviction bans, the expiration of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s moratorium has housing advocates worried about a surge in landlords forcing out tenants who have fallen behind on rent.
Congress has allocated nearly $47 billion in assistance but so far states and local jurisdictions have been slow to distribute the funds. -Bloomberg
As Julia Conley of CommonDreams.org noted over the weekend, progressive Democrats have blasted Biden’s ‘reckless’ plan to allow evictions to resume after July 31.
“It is reckless not to extend the deadline when rental assistance funds have not gone out fast enough to protect people,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday, adding: “Eviction filings have already spiked in anticipation of the deadline being lifted.”
Opining on the matter is NYU professor Ingrid Gould Ellen, a housing expert who has studied federal emergency rental assistance programs during the pandemic, who told Bloomberg that “The hardest-to-reach renters are also the most vulnerable to eviction, and that group is large enough to cause an unprecedented spike in eviction filings, warrants and, ultimately, homelessness if we don’t remain focused on getting them and their landlords the assistance Congress has made available.”
Gould Ellen noted that according to the Census Pulse Survey, 16% of renters owe back rent – down from a peak of 20% in January, but still a significant number of people, adding that nearly one in four black renters report being behind on rent.