Is There An Explosion of Evictions?
When the eviction ban was struck down by the Supreme Court, it was believed that there would be an explosion of eviction filings. While there have been increases in some cities, there is no evidence of an eviction boom across the nation, yet.
Why are evictions not rising?
4 reasons for the lower than expected filings include the following:
- Courts across cities and states have different procedures and timelines for handling evictions.
- Courts are backlogged due to a high number of filings/cases and staff shortages.
- Tenants are moving on their own to avoid an eviction.
- Landlords hope that rental assistance is still a viable option to get paid.
What About Rental Assistance?
Only $7.7 billion of $46.5 billion in emergency rental assistance has been distributed as of August 2021 according to the Treasury Department.
Problems have included the following:
- No central organization in charge of distributing the money to landlords
- Lack of resources, expertise, and guidance by cities and states to distribute the funds.
- Confusing application process more focused on preventing fraud than helping tenants.
Is Rental Assistance Improving?
Yes! There are signs of improvement as shown below by the growth in distributions from July to August.
- $2.3 billion in assistance, August 2021, 420,000 households
- $1.7 billion in assistance. July 2021, 340,000 households
As a result of these improvements, there is hope that more money will be distributed much faster to landlords in order to avoid evicting tenants.
Will Evictions Increase?
Yes! The Aspen Institute estimates that up to 15 million renters are at risk of eviction. As a result, cases will gradually increase over time as landlords and tenants run out of options to avoid eviction. Currently, Rental Assistance remains the best option to pay landlords if it can be distributed efficiently.
Check out Eviction Labs to see current eviction trends.
What to Do?
Even though the eviction moratorium expired, tenants can still apply for rental assistance that provides up to 18 months of assistance. To help this process, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a Rental Assistance Finder Tool that helps tenants find the state and local organizations distributing federal rental assistance in their communities.
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