The White House put pressure state and local governments to adopt policies to protect renters after an eviction moratorium expired over the weekend, a move which could potentially push millions of Americans out of their homes. The CDC put the eviction ban in place as part of the COVID-19 response when jobs shifted and many workers lost income. The ban was intended to hold back the spread of the virus among people put out on the streets and into shelters.
In a statement on Monday, the White House emphasized that the federal government has provided $46.5 billion to keep renters in their homes, but it accused states and cities of being “too slow to act,” preventing that aid from making its way to tenants whose livelihoods have been upended by the pandemic.
The focus on states comes as President Joe Biden faces criticism that he was was slow to address the end of the moratorium. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the prospect of widespread evictions “unfathomable.” Some people were at risk of losing their homes as soon as Monday; however the White House insists there is only so much it can do on its own and that state and local leaders need to step up and get the aid out. Gene Sperling, who oversees the administration’s coronavirus relief plans, told reporters: “The president is clear: If some states and localities can get this out efficiently and effectively there’s no reason every state and locality can’t. There is simply no excuse, no place to hide for any state or locality that is failing to accelerate their emergency” rental assistance.:
Mass evictions could potentially worsen the recent spread of the COVID-19 delta variant as roughly 1.4 million households told the Census Bureau they could “very likely” be evicted from their rentals in the next two months. Another 2.2 million say they’re “somewhat likely” to be evicted.
Editorial credit: meandering images / Shutterstock.com