After officially becoming President of the United States, Joe Biden is working hard to make his day one presence felt. After his inauguration, Biden moved his way to the White House to get to work on a number of executive orders he is expected to sign after he officially took office.
At the tope of his list is requesting an extension of the federal eviction moratorium. He wants it to run through March.
The order would offer short-term relief for millions of renters around the country who are currently struggling economically. It didn’t take long for Biden’s efforts to be criticized, as social justice leaders want the moratorium to last longer. “It’s distressing to see the incoming Biden Administration slap a Band-Aid on the housing crisis like his predecessor,” said Kamau Walton, senior communications organizer at the Right to City Alliance, an umbrella of social justice organizations. “We need an eviction moratorium that is extended to the end of the pandemic with a buffer afterwards, that is actually enforceable on landlords, and that is strengthened to leave no one behind.”
Current data shows there are between 7 million and 14.2 million renter households at risk of eviction after the moratorium lifts. The most recent stimulus bill from December allows cities and states to pay landlords or utility companies directly on behalf of renters.
All together, 11.4 million renters are predicted to owe as much as $70 billion in back rent by the end of the month.