Monday, August 2, 2021

Federal Eviction Moratorium Expires

If you have the resources to ensure that you and yours have housing for the foreseeable future then this news will not have any immediate impact upon you but the Federal CDC moratorium on evictions expired on Saturday, July 31. 

This means, at least in the states and localities that have not legislated or mandated their own eviction moratoriums, that landlords both corporate and individual, great and small, honest and corrupt, can start to pursue evictions against those individuals who are either unwilling or unable to pay rent in accordance with the lease that they signed. 

(CNN)It's like Democrats in the White House and Congress forgot the date. Now it's the first of the month and rent -- and back rent -- is suddenly due for millions of Americans who have been shielded from eviction during the pandemic.
Millions of households could face eviction over the next month -- when lawmakers on are on their annual August recess -- and some have predicted a full-blown eviction crisis, just as a surge in Covid cases from the highly contagious Delta variant may be prompting renewed calls for people to stay home and keep their distance.
"We only learned of this yesterday," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Friday evening after the House tried and failed to pass legislation that would extend the federal eviction moratorium.
"There was not enough time to socialize it within our caucus as well as to build a consensus necessary," she said, with a promise from her top lieutenant to revisit the issue ASAP. Probably after the break. 
Democratic Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri slept on the steps of the US Capitol in protest Friday night, trying to raise awareness of the many Americans who could soon be out of their houses.
"How are we on vacation when we have millions of people who could start to be evicted tonight," she said of her colleagues, flabbergasted, during an appearance on CNN Saturday, wearing the T-shirt she'd slept in.
"I am dirty, sticky, sweaty. I still have on what I had on last night. This is how people will have to live if we don't do something. Seven million, 6 million, 11 million, however many it is, they deserve human dignity and deserve for people that represent them to show up, do the work, to make sure basic needs are met today," said Bush, who had been unhoused and evicted before she came to Congress.
The exact number of people the lapse could affect is not entirely clear since some states and cities, like California, New York and New Jersey, have enacted their own temporary eviction bans that last a bit longer. More than 3.6 million renters worried they would have to leave their homes due to eviction in the next two months, according to a biweekly survey conducted by the US Census Bureau with data through July 5. LINK

I am not cheering the cessation of the eviction ban but I wonder just how long people who supported the eviction moratorium expected it to continue. 
Some people, much like those who oppose deportations, think that any and all evictions are always wrong.
I can't agree with that. 
I don't mind an activist government that leans on landlords to ensure that evictions are the last resort and that every tenant "right" is respected but at some point if you don't pay your rent, or willfully damage the property, or become a civil or criminal issue then the landlord must be able to evict you. 
If you purchase a vehicle using a loan but don't make agreed upon payments then eventually the bank or dealership will take the vehicle back. 
Food is just as important if not more so than housing. 
Yet even during the worst days of this pandemic you could not walk into a grocery store, take what you wanted, and leave without paying because of the pandemic. I wouldn't want the federal government telling me that I had to provide services to my employer for free because of the pandemic. 
I didn't understand under what authority the federal government claimed the right to intervene in a private lease contract.
It's ironic, of course, that a policy popular with some of the Democratic base that was implemented under the Trump Administration, has for better or worse come to an end under the Biden Administration, which is equipped with a Democratic majority in the House and nominal Democratic control of the Senate.
As someone quipped on Facebook, Democrats are landlords too! It's insulting to anyone's intelligence for Pelosi to say "we only learned of this yesterday" when there was a recent Supreme Court decision that established the deadline. 
Emotional stunts or claiming that all landlords are parasites don't solve anything.
Ultimately the question for us all is if there is a serious mismatch between housing costs and family income in this nation, then who bears responsibility for fixing it? How should it be fixed? Do we need more public housing? 
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