Millions of low-income renters have been protected from eviction during the pandemic because of a national eviction moratorium. Although the order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been extended several times, the eviction moratorium will expire on July 31 of this year.
Some states and local jurisdictions may still have a halt on evictions. When the CDC order expires at the end of July, though, millions of renters around the country will no longer be protected. The Biden administration has signaled that the eviction moratorium will not be extended again.
Congress has approved billions of dollars for emergency rental assistance. $25 billion was provided through a spending package in December, while more than $20 billion was included in the American Rescue Plan Act passed in March.
Recent Treasury Department data show that the funds are reaching many of the renters with the greatest needs. Seventy-one percent of those served in the first three months of 2021 were households with extremely-low incomes. These are renters whose income is less than 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI).
Unfortunately, state and local governments have been slow getting funds to renters and landlords. Most of these agencies have never run a rental assistance program before and have had to build their programs from scratch.
Treasury data show that by the end of May, only about 14% of the households who have applied have received assistance. Only about $1.5 billion has been paid out, only 6% of the emergency rental assistance available.
The Biden administration has made it a priority to help state and local governments reach as many people as possible who need emergency rental assistance. The White House has promoted outreach and marketing programs so that renters and landlords know that emergency rental assistance is available.
If you are a renter facing eviction for back rent, you can find more information about emergency rental assistance in your area on Affordable Housing Online’s Coronavirus Resource Page. The CDC eviction moratorium ends in just a couple of weeks. The assistance is out there to pay back rent and keep people in their homes once those protections are gone.