Key Highlights

  • Researchers at University of California, Berkeley Terner Center for Housing Innovation estimate 50M renters living in households suffering COVID job/income losses with nearly 40% being low-income households
  • 92% increase in daily rental assistance requests
  • Food pantry requests increased some +2,000% in some states
  • +31% renters have little confidence in ability to pay August rent

Time’s up for the temporary eviction moratoriums and rent freezes enacted by some states and the federal government when the COVID-19 pandemic and its joblessness partner moved into the country. Now it’s time for the US to “…expect an avalanche of evictions that will bury entire communities and result in a cascade of additional losses to financial well-being, health and housing opportunities,” according to Emily A. Benfer, director of the Health Justice Advocacy Clinic at Columbia Law School.

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Not only will renters and their families suffer from this projected “avalanche” of evictions, states, cities, school districts and landlords will suffer from sweeping evictions. None of these entities have a financial cushion on which to fall back as it currently stands.

Evicted renters are typically blacklisted in the rental market and unable to secure other rental housing if and when their finances ever enable them to eventually pay rent down the road. Evicted tenants’ credit scores are also severely damaged. This combination of blacklisting and credit score damaging most often leads to “…unemployment, residential instability, homelessness, academic decline and negative health consequences…” again according to Benfer.

Without immediate intervention from the federal government that would include a national moratorium on evictions and rental assistance to sustain renters, landlords and state/local governments throughout the course of the COVID pandemic, mass-scale homelessness with continued disproportionate impacts on marginalized adults, families and children will soon become the norm throughout the country.


Thanks to NBCNews and Emily A. Benfer, Director of the Health Justice Advocacy Clinic at Columbia Law School.

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