The lifeline thrown to 10 million-plus struggling renters in the U.S. has only 30 days to run, and many of those Americans face eviction.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention helped to establish an eviction moratorium that began last September to provide assistance in the wake of the pandemic.
Today, with reports indicating millions are behind on their payments, there’s a real danger coming as the June 30 deadline approaches.
The band-aid provided by the CDC certainly has had its detractors, but, according to Peter Hepburn, an assistant professor of Sociology at Rutgers University-Newark and research fellow at The Eviction Lab, it’s cut evictions year-over-year by at least a half.
There are strong points to be made on both sides of whether to end the moratorium.
Landlords claimed a major imposition – having to house people for free or be responsible for tenants’ late payments.
On the other hand, there is money on the table yet to be distributed — $45 billion in rental assistance was allocated to states by Congress.
“We need to let this moratorium stay in place until we spend all this money,” Mark Melton, a lawyer representing tenants facing eviction pro bono in Dallas, said in the CNBC story, adding, “If you bail out the renter, that means you bailed out the landlord.”
Geography, race and income level play a part in the numbers.
Nearly 25% of renters in Florida and South Carolina are behind on payments; only 6% in Maine and Kentucky are in a similar position, according to The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Black renters are nearly four times as likely to be behind on their rent than white renters, and lower-income households – the paycheck-to-paycheck demographic — are much more likely to have problems keeping up.