Photo Courtesy of Lane Turner/Globe Staff
As the COVID-19 pandemic persists throughout the country, millions of Americans are at risk of being evicted.
The federal moratorium that lasted from March 27 to July 24 made it illegal for landlords to evict their tenants due to many people being unemployed and unable to afford rent. However, the law has ended, yet, there are many people still out of work.
According to The Aspen Institute, 30-40 million people could be facing eviction in what’s considered to be the most severe housing crisis in U.S. history. Data gathered by the organization shows that 100.8 million of Americans are in renter households. Around 40% of these households are at risk of eviction.
The housing crisis also is affecting small-business owners as many of them are renting the property that they operate out of. Across the country, numerous stores have shut down, both small and well-known shops.
Currently, Republicans and Democrats are trying to find a common-ground in their next federal aid to people affected by the COVID-19 crisis. This package may include an extension on the federal moratorium.
Although extending the law would be beneficial to renters, landlords complain that the long-term effects will fall on them. As mentioned in an article with The Washington Post, landlords say that when the ban ends, renters “will owe months of back rent they can’t afford, delaying their eventual eviction while leaving landlords to swallow the shortfall.”
New Jersey governor, Phil Murphy, introduced an aid program that would grant $25 million to owners of small rental apartment buildings. This money would forgive the back rent that many renters have owed from April to July.
This grant only applies to properties with three to 10 units, which applies to 1 out of 3 New Jersey renters. This state aid could be used as an example for others; however, it also depends on the budget of the state.
The COVID-19 housing crisis is an extremely complex solution for renters, owners, and also the government. At the moment, the White House is studying the evictions moratorium, attempting to find a solution that would best fit all.