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As the moratorium on evictions imposed during the pandemic expires on Saturday, millions of Americans are at risk of being evicted from their homes.
President Joe Biden said on Thursday that he has no right to extend the 11-month ban on the eviction of rent arrears by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and urged Congress to take action.
At the same time, an estimated 3.6 million Americans stated that they would be at risk of being deported within the next two months. A few states, including California and Washington, have their own bans to protect renters before the end of September, but most states do not.
Ingrid Gould Allen, a professor at the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University, said: “The pandemic highlights the vulnerability of American renters.”
The ban aims to slow the spread of the virus by preventing the influx of displaced renters into the homes of family and friends or homeless shelters. The study attributed more than 10,000 Covid-related deaths to deportations before the ban was imposed early in the pandemic.
The Supreme Court ruled that if there is no new legislation, the suspension period cannot be extended. Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Sherrod Brown, urged their colleagues to vote for extending the deadline to December 31 so that local governments can have Time to allocate aid funds, but it seems increasingly impossible to pass legislation to pass both houses in time.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said: “I am deeply concerned about this because, sadly, I saw the family being expelled from their homes.”
“This is one of the most heartbreaking situations you can see: cribs and personal belongings are placed on the street for everyone to see or take away, and families are insulted because they are forced to leave their homes and have to find shelters. “
Democrats’ efforts to extend the moratorium in the House of Representatives failed on Friday. Biden also urged state leaders to allocate unused emergency funds to landlords and tenants. The government said it can only extend the moratorium for people living in federally aided and subsidized rental housing until the end of September.
The expiration of the CDC’s emergency moratorium comes at a dangerous moment in the U.S. fight against Covid-19. The Delta variant contributed to the rapid increase in the number of cases nationwide and forced the CDC to change its mask guidelines.
As part of its pandemic assistance measures, Congress allocated $46.6 billion to state and local governments and non-profit organizations to help 15 million Americans owed to landlords. But the bureaucratic challenge of starting hundreds of individual rental assistance programs from the ground up means that more than $3 billion has been paid to tenants and landlords.
“This is a perfect storm,” said Roshanak Mehdipanah, a professor of housing policy at the University of Michigan.
Aid agencies report that there is a huge need for support. Jeff Jaynes of the Recovery Hope Ministries, which is responsible for providing rental assistance in Tulsa, Oklahoma, said he has never received more requests for help than in the past few weeks. The financial crisis and the first few months of the pandemic were not so chaotic.
“It’s not even comparable,” Jaynes said. “It’s like comparing the major league All-Stars with my minor league teams.”
The main income earners of many families where Jaynes worked lost their jobs at the beginning of the pandemic, or had to extend their vacation time to recover from Covid-19, and were never able to pay.average Debts of each tenant According to estimates by the Aspen Institute, the cost in the United States is more than $3,000.
But the landlords also said that they were struggling throughout the pandemic. The National Apartment Association, a trade organization representing 10 million homeowners across the country, is suing the federal government for a moratorium, claiming it cost them billions of dollars in revenue. Despite this, many in the industry insist that there will be no mass evictions next week.
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“There will be no expulsion tsunami,” said Douglas Bibby, chairman of the National Multi-Family Housing Council. “Eviction is not good for anyone.”
Bibby said, because a lot landlord Need to make up for missed payments to pay their own mortgages, repairs, and property taxes, and they have the incentive to work with tenants to develop payment plans or assist in applying for assistance to recover rent.
But for the indebted tenants whose landlords rejected Bibby’s method and filed an eviction case when the housing court reopened on Monday, advocates said they could do nothing.
Jacqueline Waggoner, an executive at Enterprise Community Partners, a housing nonprofit organization, said: “Someone will fall through the cracks.” “But aid is coming.”