WASHINGTON – There is a renewed push on Capitol Hill to provide rent relief to tenants who are disproportionately impacted by pandemic economic impacts.
The CDC’s federal eviction moratorium, designed to help stop the spread of COVID-19, has expired.
An estimated 11 million Americans are late on rent, already struggling to pay the bills, and now they may soon be out of a home.
Black and Latino Tenants are disproportionately impacted, according to some on Capitol Hill.
The Supreme Court had allowed the moratorium stay in place until July 31, but Congress would need to act. Their bill failed, after republicans rejected it.
“Democrats had the opportunity to change that,” Rep. Patrick McHenry (R) of North Carolina. “It’s a tragedy that it’s this level of incompetency that we didn’t take action in February, March, April, May, June, even July.”
A lawmaker who said she herself had been evicted three times, and forced to live in her car, sleeping on the Capitol steps in protest.
“I am dirty, sticky, sweaty,” said Rep. Cori Bush (D) of Missouri. “This is how people will have to live if we don’t do something.”
Some Democrats are now shifting their focus on getting existing federal money into the hands of those who need it most.
The Biden Administration allowed the moratorium to expire Saturday, saying it didn’t have the power to stop it.
The President is urging state and local governments to use the emergency rental assistance program and money from his American Rescue Plan to help prevent evictions.
While the federal eviction moratorium has ended, at least a dozen states from California to New York have passed some form of eviction protections.
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