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More than 10 million Americans, or 14% of US renters, report failing to pay their home payments, which means many could be at risk if the national eviction moratorium expires in less than a month.
This finding comes from data collected by the Census Bureau between May 12 and 24 and analyzed by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The CBPP also found that more than 26% of Americans continue to struggle to meet their usual expenses, and about 9% couldn’t afford enough groceries.
With so many tenants lagging behind, evictions could spike if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s moratorium on eviction is lifted on June 30th. This protection has been in place for 10 months.
While the policy hasn’t reached all tenants, it has reduced the normal number of eviction suits by at least half over the same period, according to Peter Hepburn, assistant professor of sociology at Rutgers University-Newark and a research fellow at The Eviction Laboratory.
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The CDC’s eviction moratorium has faced numerous legal challenges and landlords criticized the policy, saying they could not afford to house people for free or carry the land’s massive rent arrears, which could reach as much as $ 70 billion.
However, housing advocates say the ban will be lifted at a terrible time for owners and renters. States are trying to redistribute the $ 45 billion in rental subsidies that Congress has provided to cope with the crisis. (This funding is unprecedented: according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, tenants received only $ 1.5 billion during the Great Recession.)
“We have to keep this moratorium in place until we’ve spent all this money,” said Mark Melton, a lawyer who represents tenants in Dallas who face eviction pro bono.
“If you save the tenant, it means you saved the landlord,” he said.
Heather Jordan has been approved for rental aid in Missouri, but it could be weeks before the money reaches her landlord, who has already moved to evict her.
“Once you’ve put the moratorium in place, you will have time to let the landlord pay,” said Jordan, 48, who fell behind on her $ 1,475 rent after finishing her sales job shortly before the coronavirus pandemic had lost. Your wife is disabled and cannot work.
When she and her family, including wife, two children, and two grandchildren, are evicted from their St. Louis home, she has no idea where they are going. She has lived there for nine years and it will be difficult to find a landlord to rent her out with an eviction on her file.
“We’re going to be homeless,” she said.
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