- Estimated 30M people at risk of eviction
- Trump’s latest executive order does NOT ban evictions outright or provide rental assistance
Just after the COVID pandemic arrived in the US, Congress and many states imposed bans on evictions in order to protect millions of suddenly unemployed workers from losing their homes. Many of those state bans are lapsing while, simultaneously, supplemental unemployment benefits have ended.
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“Now,” according to Zach Neumann with The Aspen Institute and founder of the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project, “you’re in a moment where you still haven’t gone back to work, most government benefits have stopped, and the rent is still due.”
Neumann estimates that at least 30M of the 110M Americans who live in rental housing are or will be at risk of eviction when the end of September rolls around.
Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, said, “There’s a tremendous urgency…there are millions of renters who can’t sleep at night because they don’t know what they’re going to do if they become homeless.”
Even where eviction moratoriums continue to be in place or extended, tenants are unclear about being protected from evictions. In Florida where an army of hospitality and tourism workers is out of work, for example, an evictions extension merely allows renters who can prove they’ve been negatively impacted by the COVID pandemic to appeal for more time to pay what they owe.
According to Jamos Mobley, an attorney working in Central Florida with the Legal Aid Society, said, “A lot of folks hear that we’ve had an extension, and they’re going to assume they’re protected. And that’s just not the case. Evictions are moving forward. They’re being filed.”
Mobley added, “I think our next pandemic, if nothing is done, is going to be a homeless pandemic.”
Thanks to National Public Radio.