As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, more and more people are facing the threat of housing insecurity. As state and local eviction moratoriums approach their end dates, millions are still out of work with no clear path forward. This has prompted local, state, and federal officials to call for further action to protect tenants and landlords alike.
In March, Congress passed the CARES Act, which prohibited landlords of certain kinds of housing, including federally subsidized housing, from "initiating eviction proceedings or 'charg[ing] fees, penalties, or other charges' against a tenant for the nonpayment" until July 25th--one month from the publication of this topic (Congressional Research Service).
As eviction moratoriums end, it is estimated that a large backlog of eviction cases will be filed, including 9,000 in North Carolina, 75,000 in Michigan, and 50,000 in New York City (BBC). While this trend directly affects tenants, it also hurts many landlords who rely on income from owned properties.
Polls show that in May, 20-30% of Americans made partial or no rent payments, with 62% of renters worried about their ability to pay (Marketplace). As of May 2020, the U.S. unemployment rate was 13.3% (BLS). For thirteen weeks straight, over one million people filed for unemployment benefits each week (New York Times).
Food For Thought
What should local, state, and federal government entities do to help Americans avoid homelessness and reduce housing insecurity?