28 Million Americans Could Face Evictions As Cares Act Expires

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The CARES Act will expire on Friday at midnight, which could put 28 million Americans facing eviction in the middle of a pandemic, while Congress has yet to offer a solution before its break at the end of the month.

A dire situation looming for renters

A survey taken in May by the American Apartment Owners Association found nearly 60% of landlords said their tenants are unable to pay rent because of the coronavirus.

In the survey, 80% of landlords said they’re willing to work with these renters. But what people say in a questionnaire is not necessarily what they ultimately do. Keep in mind that surveys and polls told everyone President Donald Trump didn’t have a chance in 2016.

Even more importantly, saving face in a poll is one thing, but money has a way of affecting behavior. Signs are already showing that landlords are already beginning to order evictions.

Princeton University’s Eviction Lab, which tracks evictions in a dozen U.S. cities, found that eviction filings resumed to pre-pandemic levels nearly immediately after local eviction moratoriums expire.

In Milwaukee, evictions sword 17 percent higher than average in June, The Hill reported, which was a month after the eviction moratorium expired in Wisconsin.

Federal moratorium protects homeowners until the end of August

While renters are in a precarious situation, homeowners who have federally insured single-family mortgages are currently protected by an extension. In June, the Federal Housing Administration announced it was extending its foreclosure and eviction moratorium through August 31st.

What is Congress doing to provide relief?

Senate Democrats are attempting to push a series of bills that could stabilize protections for renters either by shoring up and/or extending provisions already in the CARES Act or the HEROES Act.

One plan has been put forth by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), alongside Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y), Sen. Sharrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). The plan seeks to extend protections for renters until March, as well as broaden the moratorium beyond the federal level.

In addition, the plan calls for a rental assistance fund, which they say is critical to people who have lost jobs and wages and have accumulated a backlog of missed rent payments.

Another plan was introduced by California Senator Kamala Harris called the relief act, which bans all evictions and foreclosures for both renters and homeowners for a year, CNBC reported. Under the plan, affected parties would have a span of 18 months in which to make up for any rent payments.