Information on the 2021 Eviction Moratorium Reversal
The supreme court has decided to reverse its decision on the four-week-old eviction moratorium that was put in place for a second time this year. The bill that protected renters from eviction has come to a close and brings relief to the landlords all over the country who felt the hit of the second wave of federal protection for renters and will allow them to get their rentals back to producing income. According to the US Census Bureau survey conducted at the beginning of August, more than three million renters think that they will be evicted in the next two months.
“The federal eviction moratorium was a lifeline for millions of families, the last remaining federal protection keeping them safely and stably housed throughout the pandemic,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “The tragic, consequential, and entirely avoidable outcome of this ruling will be millions of people losing their homes this fall and winter, just as the Delta variant ravages communities and lives.”
Many struggling renters were hoping to receive this emergency rental assistance from the government to pay their back rent and remain in their home but that is no longer the case. State and local jurisdictions have introduced legislation and have put in place their own eviction bans to protect renters while the process of distributing rental assistance continues. This is important because it could mean that renters can still remain in their homes for longer than expected and the landlords can finally get paid the income that comes from owning a rental property.
What Renters Can Do to Avoid Eviction:
Struggling renters facing eviction can still potentially make their rent payment if they choose to contact their local legal aid organization to find out about additional resources that they can take advantage of like rent relief. Rental assistance programs from the US Treasury and another one managed by the National Low Income Housing Coalition are available for renters who want to apply. There are also resources and programs available for landlords to assist their tenants in applying for aid.
Of the $46 billion in emergency rent relief money, only $5.1 billion had been distributed through July, according to the Treasury Department. That means about 89% of the money set aside for renters has yet to be distributed for the 2021 eviction moratorium extension.
John Pollock, the coordinator for the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel, which advocates for renters said that “[t]here will be a ton of eviction filings, and how quickly the courts might actually evict everyone, is hard to say.” He continues with, “[c]ourts have shown they can be ruthlessly efficient, they can dispose of hundreds of cases in a morning.”
With millions of people now facing eviction, states and communities are asking to place protections for renters after they’ve been evicted. Renters would benefit from further protections put in place, like getting offered a right to counsel or having screening policies that don’t reject applicants due to a prior eviction.
“The Supreme Court decision to retract their government assistance undermines unprecedented efforts by Congress and the White House to ensure housing stability during the pandemic,” said Yentel of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
“State and local governments are working to improve programs to distribute emergency rental assistance to those in need, but they need more time. The Supreme Court’s decision will lead to many renters, predominantly people of color, losing their homes before the assistance can reach them,” said Yentel. “The tragic consequences of this decision will reverberate for years.”
Housing providers will need to proceed carefully with eviction proceedings, as state courts may not be processing these actions right away, and in some areas, state and local moratoria remain in place.
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