Tenants prepare: Eviction moratorium to end – Riverside, California

Riverside, California 2021-07-31 10:47:38 –

Home advocates fear that the end of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s moratorium could drive millions of people out in the coming weeks.

Tenants with months of backrent are facing the end of the federal peasant eviction moratorium on Saturday. Millions can be expelled from home, just as the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus is spreading rapidly.

The Biden administration announced Thursday that it would allow the national ban to expire, saying it wanted to extend it due to increased infection, but in June the U.S. Supreme Court did not extend it beyond the end of July. After signaling that, the hand was tied to the actions of Congress.

Friday lawmakers tried to pass a bill to extend the moratorium for months, but failed. Some Democrats wanted to extend it until the end of the year.

“August will be a tough month as many people are forced out of their homes,” said Jeffrey Hahn, director of litigation and legal affairs at Greater Miami. … many people are protected by the Moratorium. “

The moratorium, set up by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, is said to have left 2 million people at home in the past year as the pandemic hit the economy. Princeton University Shrimp Lab. The Eviction Moratorium will continue in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, California, and Washington, DC until it expires later this year.

Elsewhere, the end of the federal moratorium means that peasant evictions could begin on Monday, leading to years of peasant evictions over weeks, signaling the arrival of the worst housing crisis since the Great Depression. increase.

Roxanne Schaefer is one of the millions who are already afraid of the homeless, suffering from a myriad of health problems, including respiratory problems and bone disorders.

In a devastated, sparsely decorated Rhode Island apartment, she shares with her girlfriend, siblings, dogs and kittens. The 38-year-old is $ 3,000 behind her monthly rent of $ 995 after losing her dishwasher job during a pandemic. A box filled with belongings is behind the sofa in the apartment, Schaefer says it’s infested with mice and cockroaches, and even a squirrel in the bedroom.

The only thing that prevents him from changing locks and kicking her out is the CDC Moratorium, as the landlord, who first tried to kick her out in January, refused to get federal rental assistance. Her $ 800 monthly disability check does not pay for a new apartment. Her savings are only $ 1,000.

“I’m worried. I’m nervous. I can’t sleep,” said Schaefer of Westwarwick, Rhode Island, for fear of being thrown onto the streets. “If he does, you know, I’ll lose everything, I’ll have nothing. I’ll be homeless.”

According to the Aspen Institute, more than 15 million people live in households that owe $ 20 billion to their landlords. As of July 5, about 3.6 million people in the United States faced evictions from peasants in the next two months, according to the US Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.

In the South and other areas where tenant protection is weak, the biggest surges are likely to be seen and the color communities, which may have low vaccination rates, will be hit hardest. However, supporters say the crisis has a broader impact than the pre-pandemic eviction of peasants, which could extend to suburbs, rural areas, and even working families who have lost their jobs and never experienced peasants. It says it is expensive.

Kristen Randall, a police officer in Pima County, Arizona, said he will be in charge of eviction of peasants starting Monday.

“These are people who have already tried to find new homes, new apartments, or move with their families,” she said. “I know that quite a few of them are going to stay in their cars or are thinking of making a reservation at a local shelter, but due to the pandemic, our shelter space is More limited. “

“You’ll see more people go down the street than usual. That’s a shame.”

The crisis is exacerbated only in September, when the first foreclosure process is expected to begin. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, an estimated 1.75 million homeowners (about 3.5% of all homes) have some kind of tolerance plans with banks. By comparison, about 10 million homeowners lost their homes for foreclosure after the burst of the housing bubble in 2008.

The Biden administration hoped that the historic amount of rental assistance allocated by Congress in December and March would help avoid the crisis of eviction of peasants.

But so far, only about $ 3 billion of the $ 25 billion first tranche had been distributed by the state and provinces by June. An additional $ 21.5 billion will be sent to the state. Payment speeds increased in June, but some states like New York have distributed almost nothing. Some others only approve millions of dollars.

Emily Benfer, a law professor at Wake Forest University and chairman of the American Bar Association’s Eviction Task Force, said: , Housing stability and fairness.

In some places, the number of people being expelled will surge in the next few days, while in other jurisdictions there will be more filings in court leading to expulsion over the next few months.

“It’s almost immeasurable. We are on the verge of a national peasant eviction crisis that can be completely prevented in more time to distribute rental assistance,” Benfer said.

“While millions of tenants and rental assistance applications are pending, only the eviction moratorium is between evictions. Just as the delta variant surges, its important public health tool is Saturday. When it ends in, the situation becomes dire. “

Many needy tenants will be driven into the bright red housing market, where prices are rising and vacancy rates are plummeting.

Suffering from records of peasant evictions and rent, finding a new apartment is nearly impossible, and many turn to homeless shelters that are already tense or build huts with their families. Or find dangerous homes in low-income areas where there are no good schools. Access to work and transportation. Many are also in debt.

Eviction of peasants proves to be costly for the communities in which they live. Studies show that families evacuated from peasants face a laundry list of health problems, from rising infant mortality to high blood pressure and suicide. And taxpayers often submit bills from the provision of social welfare, medical care, and homeless services. According to a study by the University of Arizona’s National Low Income Housing Coalition and Innovation for Justice Program, the cost of pandemic-related peasants can reach $ 129 billion.

On Rhode Island, Schaefer had a hard time understanding why landlords didn’t get federal rental assistance. Many landlords have succeeded in challenging the moratorium in court, but claim that the economy is improving and coronavirus cases are declining almost everywhere. Those who do not receive rental support will refuse for various reasons, such as wishing to move out.

“I don’t want to live here for free,” Schaefer said. “I know where you go and live, you have to pay, but I just want to be rational.”

“Why can’t you get rent relief? You know, they pay,” she added. “The document says that you will pay two months in advance. At least by two months, you can save a lot of money and pay the down payment to another place to move. You Will have your money we owe you, and will move. “

The Associated Press correspondent Rodrique Gowi of Westwarwick, Rhode Island contributed to this report.

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