The federal eviction moratorium was set to expire at the end of the month, but has now been extended under the new COVID-19 stimulus package. Here are five facts on evictions.
- The new COVID-19 stimulus package helps prevent evictions.
The bill will provide $25 billion in rental assistance to unemployed or low-income households, or renters at risk of losing their homes, and extend the federal eviction mortarium until January 31. It also includes other measures that will help Americans meet their rent and mortgage payments. Most Americans are eligible for a one-time $600 stimulus check and jobless Americans will receive an additional $300 in weekly unemployment benefits for 11 weeks.
- Before the COVID-19 relief bill was passed, the federal eviction moratorium was set to expire on December 31.
On September 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ordered a federal halt on residential evictions to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The moratorium policy protected renters who missed monthly payments due to the financial hardship from the pandemic and covered individuals who make $99,000 a year or less or married couples making $198,000 a year or less. To further protect renters, 16 states currently have their own eviction moratoriums.
- Hundreds of thousands of Americans have been evicted from their homes since the pandemic started.
As reported by NBC News, “adherence to the moratorium has been spotty.” Landlords are still evicting their tenants knowing some renters cannot afford to take them to court and because, in some cases, judges have deemed the policy unconstitutional. According to the Princeton University Eviction Lab, which tracks evictions across 27 American cities, since March 13 more than 162,000 evictions have been filed. The cities with the most evictions are New York, Phoenix, and Austin.
- One in six adult renters were unable to pay rent in November.
Moody’s Analytics estimates nearly 12 million tenants were unable to meet rent payments and will owe an average of $5,850 in back rent and utilities in January. In August, Moody’s chief economist, Mark Zandi, calculated that American tenants could owe a total $70 billion in back rent by the end of the year.
- A recent report found that evictions contribute to the spread of COVID-19.
While states have issued stay at home orders, tenants unable to pay rent and could not shelter in place. According to a report by the University of California Los Angeles, excess COVID-19 cases and deaths can be traced to evictions. As many as 434,000 excess cases and 10,700 deaths nationwide were caused by states lifting the eviction moratorium, the report said.