By MICHAEL CASEY , Associated Press 40 mins ago
The Biden administration on Thursday announced it will allow a nationwide ban on evictions to expire July 31, 2021, arguing that its hands are tied after the Supreme Court signaled it could only be extended until the end of the month.
By the end of March, 6.4 million American households were behind on their rent, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. As of July 5, roughly 3.6 million people in the U.S. said they faced eviction in the next two months, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.
Congress has allocated nearly $47 billion in rental assistance that is supposed to go to help tenants pay off months of back rent. But so far, only about $3 billion of the first tranche of $25 billion has been distributed through June by states and localities. Some states like New York have distributed almost nothing while several have only approved a few million.
Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta also has released an open letter to state courts around the country encouraging them to pursue measures that would keep eviction cases out of the courts. On Wednesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unveiled a tool that allows tenants to find information about rental assistance in their area.
“This pandemic is not behind us, and our federal housing policies should reflect that stark reality. With the United States facing the most severe eviction crisis in its history, our local and state governments still need more time to distribute critical rental assistance to help keep a roof over the heads of our constituents,” Democratic U.S. Reps. Cori Bush of Missouri, Jimmy Gomez of California and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts said in a joint statement.
This week, the National Apartment Association and several others this week filed a federal lawsuit asking for $26 billion in damages due to the impact of the moratorium. The NAA “has long held that eviction moratoria are fundamentally flawed policies, leaving renters saddled with insurmountable debt and rental housing providers unfairly holding the bag despite unprecedented efforts to keep their residents housed over the past 18 months,” Bob Pinnegar, the president and CEO of the NAA, said in a statement.
Associated Press; By MICHAEL CASEY , July 29, 2021
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