There is a federal order through the end of next month protecting renters from eviction because of the pandemic. After that though, some 40 million people are at risk of losing their homes because they owe about $57 billion in back rent, according to thinktanks and economic research firms.
All across the country, people are being evicted even with the moratorium.
“But it, it puts a lot of burden on the individual renter. You have to fill out forms, you have to prove that the reason you can't pay your rent is directly related to the pandemic,” said
Dr. Richard Besser, President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
That foundation and other advocate groups are trying to educate people about how to stay in their homes.
One form you need to have if you are facing eviction is the tenant declaration form provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fill it out and give it to your landlord or property manager. But this only prevents eviction based on non-payment.
There are other ways people are losing their homes, like through not having their lease renewed.
Dr. Richard Besser argues Congress needs to look at a new approach to housing rather than another short-term fix.
“Because of the exclusionary policies that so many communities have put in place that forbid the building of multifamily housing units that would allow more people to move to areas of opportunity, those kinds of policies mean that that people of color in America are much more likely to get evicted,” said Besser. “Women-led households are much more likely to experience eviction.”
The foundation along with the Princeton Eviction Lab points out that Congress needs to pass more rental assistance to ensure landlords get the money tenants can't pay at the end of the moratorium.