The CDC’s moratorium on evictions has prevented U.S. landlords from firing late renters during the pandemic. In the end, millions of people are in danger.
WASHINGTON – The pandemic has been a financial nightmare for many Americans. A year and a half later, tens of millions of people are still behind on their rent. To explain this, the CDC’s moratorium on evictions made it temporarily illegal for Americans to be evicted from their homes during the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Posts with thousands of likes and retweets, claim that more than 10 million Americans will be deported at the end of this moratorium. The Verify team brought this statistic to the experts and dug into the data.
Will 3% of Americans be deported at the end of the federal moratorium?
Yes. Based on Census Pulse Survey data, between 2 and 4% of Americans say they could be evicted from their homes in the next two months.
WHAT WE FOUND
The US Census Bureau periodically conducts pulse surveys. Based on survey data from May 31 – June 7, 2020, 13.6% of respondents were not caught up with rent payments. Of this group, 45.5% said they were very or somewhat likely to be evicted from their homes in the next two months.
Of all respondents to this week’s surveys, 2.2% say they are very likely to be deported in the next two months and 3.9% say they are somewhat likely. Diane Yentel says that number could be even higher.
“There are 6 million tenant households, with up to 15 million people within them, who are still behind on rent after falling behind during the pandemic and at increased risk of eviction when the moratorium expires. “, Yentel told us.
Nearly 900,000 Americans were deported in 2016, according to Princeton University Expulsion laboratory. When the moratorium is lifted, we could see an eviction rate six times higher than this in just a few months.
“It’s a really unique moment… it’s a huge number of people who could lose their homes,” Yentel said. “Hopefully by August 1 the numbers will be lower. Hopefully state and local efforts to get emergency rental assistance to tenants in need will be successful.”
The CDC’s moratorium meant tenants could not be physically evicted from their homes, but it did not federally forbid eviction requests. This means that it is possible that landlords have already started the eviction process against many families and are waiting for the day when they can ask an American Marshall to physically remove their tenant.
According to Yentel, eviction requests can be damaging to a tenant’s future, even without an eviction. This deposit can remain on your file and prevent you from finding suitable housing in the future and start what Yentel calls the “spiral of poverty”.
“It comes back in background checks in some places. It can go on a person’s file for years,” Yentel explains. “It is much more difficult for them to find adequate and affordable housing and landlords who rent it out. So they usually end up living in dilapidated housing in communities with less access to healthy food, jobs or transportation, and this spiral is on the decline.
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Washington DC’s eviction moratorium went further than the CDC’s and banned homeowners from seeking evictions. The city’s moratorium is due to expire on July 25, but Neil Satterlund, of the DC Tenants’ Rights Center, said the DC Council is planning a phased approach to continue protecting tenants.
“The current law says you can’t even send a notice explaining to a tenant why they might be about to be evicted until 60 days after the public health emergency,” says Satterlund. “All types of evictions now … require at least 30 days notice to the tenant.”
Rent assistance is a temporary solution, our experts told us. But there are tons of resources out there for people who are struggling and need help paying their rent.
DC tenants can ask for help at stay.dc.gov.
There are over 400 emergency rental assistance programs across the country. You can find a database of these resources on the NLIHC website.