Evictions for millions of Americans may happen later this month.
Here’s what you need to know.
Real Estate: Evictions
There are a confluence of factors that could result in wide-scale evictions this month:
The Cares Act placed a 120-day moratorium on evictions. However, that eviction moratorium expires on July 25, 2020. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, states such as New York, California, Texas and Florida could experience the most evictions based on rent costs and unemployment rate. Of course, a renter’s income, savings and government support could offset the possibility of eviction. More than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits as a result of Covid-19. Many renters have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19, including losing their job in industries such as travel and hospitality. According to the Urban Institute, approximately 20% of renters have at least one family member who lost a job in the last two months.
Proposal: halt evictions through March 2021
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) proposed new legislation that would provide renters protection from eviction. Through the Protecting Renters From Evictions and Fees Act, Warren calls for, among other provisions, the following:
- Evictions would be halted for one year.
- Evictions can’t resume until March 27, 2021, which is one year after Congress passed the Cares Act, which is the $2.2 trillion financial stimulus package.
- Landlords could not evict any tenants without providing 30 days’ notice after the moratorium ends.
- Prevent landlords from charging renters fees for non-payment.
- The eviction moratorium would be nationwide.
Warren’s bill is not expected to be included in the next stimulus package, and likely would not pass the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans. However, the Senate could extend the provisions in the Cares Act if Congress decides to offer additional relief to renters. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) also introduced the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020 in the House of Representatives. This bill, which passed the House, would provide $100 billion in emergency relief to renters, extend the Cares Act eviction moratorium until March 2021, and provide $75 billion in relief for homeowners. The Senate likely will not pass this bill either.
Your next steps
If you think you might face eviction, take action now. Here are some action steps:
- Understand your state’s housing and eviction laws
- Contact your landlord in advance to discuss alternative options
- Determine if your state has a moratorium on evictions
- Seek legal help from non-profit organizations such as Legal Aid