Story at a glance:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of this week.
- Rental assistance has only reached 6.5 percent of the renters who requested it.
- This eviction moratorium is expected to be the final extension from the CDC.
Some renters will be evicted from their apartments and houses, having not been prepared and helped during the moratorium imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that expires at the end of this week.
The moratorium protected millions, like 51-year-old Denise Forcer of south Florida, from getting eviction. Forcer was able to pay off about three months of owed rent, which was made possible thanks to the $47 billion in rental assistance the government allocated to stave off evictions, The Guardian reported.
However, rental assistance has only reached 6.5 percent of the renters who requested it, and next week marks the end of the moratorium in which some renters have not paid their rent in a year or so.
“I thought I was going to have a breakdown,” Forcer told The Guardian. “I didn’t know when those people were going to come banging on my door or put up another paper.”
According to the Census of late June and early July, about 12.7 million renters are not confident in being able to make next month’s rent.
In states like Florida where there are few renter protections, the rate of evictions that are predicted to occur are going to be described as an “avalanche.”
The federal moratorium’s expiration is less of a concern in states like Washington, which has one of the nation’s best renter protections.
Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida’s Jeffrey Hittleman said people like Forcer who lost their jobs during the pandemic depend on collecting unemployment and are falling behind rent.
“Once the CDC moratorium expires, there will be no special eviction protections for people in south Florida,” Hittleman said.
If tenants had back rent that existed before the pandemic, they are instructed to pay it in full within five days of the eviction filing, potentially leaving some to pay back months of rent in a short period.
Although grateful to have Hittleman and his firm on her side for connecting her with the rental assistance program, Forcer said it only covered three or four months of rent, and she still had to spend $3,000 from her own savings and unemployment checks to pay off the remaining balance.
She also had to deal with late fees her landlord added on the bill.
As The Hill previously reported, the rent moratorium was supposed to end in late June but was extended by the CDC for one month.
This eviction moratorium is expected to be the final extension, the CDC said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a historic threat to the nation’s public health,” the CDC said in a statement. “Keeping people in their homes and out of crowded or congregate settings — like homeless shelters — by preventing evictions is a key step in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
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