With the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 ending, many renters encounter potential eviction.
What We Know:
- The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 contains housing provisions including emergency rental assistance, homeowner assistance funds, emergency housing vouchers, homelessness assistance programs, and more. Emergency rental programs allocate $21.5 billion to help struggling renters keep up on rent while the Homeowner Assistance Fund of $10 billion aids homeowners falling behind on utility or mortgage payments.
- Emergency housing vouchers, given $5 billion by the Treasury, must be accepted by landlords across the country in place of rent payments for those experiencing homelessness. The vouchers provide the homeless with housing, as does the $5 billion Homelessness Assistance and Supportive Services Program. The homelessness crisis worsened throughout the pandemic, with people experiencing homelessness living in conditions that tolerate the easy transmission of COVID-19. Congregate shelters and underlying health problems exacerbate disease transmission.
- The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development released a statement describing the catalyst for considerable financial housing support. “Today, 1 in 5 renters is behind on rent and just over 10 million homeowners are behind on mortgage payments. People of color face even greater hardship and are more likely to have deferred or missed payments, putting them at greater risk of eviction and foreclosure.” In early 2021, a disproportionate amount of black people were unable to pay rent. 35 percent of black people fell behind on rent payments compared to only 17 percent of their white counterparts.
- On June 30, the CDC order invalidating evictions and federal limitations on foreclosures will both expire. Many landlords and lenders compile costs, with census data indicating 6 million people are still behind on rent and 2.1 million are behind on mortgages. The compiled costs must be paid back, throwing many Americans through a loop of uncertainty.
- Likewise, landlords struggle to pay electric, heating, and water bills with the current voucher system. Some landlords and lenders capable of flexibility, however, have stepped forward and forgiven debt.
Those unable to pay forth debt or lenders unwilling to work with renters are contributing to a potential wave of evictions across the country.