Renters facing eviction are now receiving new federal protections through the end of the year.
This week the Trump administration announced a temporary halt in residential evictions for those struggling during the pandemic. The latest eviction ban, which goes through December of this year, comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Bob Palmer, from Housing Action Illinois, said this is good news, but not ideal: "Overall, it's a good thing, but it's not forgiving rent [and] is not providing rent assistance. It's temporary," he said. "So we really need Congress and the Trump administration to get back to the negotiating table on providing financial assistance that will benefit tenants and also landlords"
Palmer said this is a positive step for renters who've lost income due to COVID-19, who might otherwise be at risk of homelessness or being in an overcrowded situation. Palmer maintained that the new guidance from the CDC doesn't go as far as needed. "We really need the federal government to step in and provide additional rent assistance," he said, "because this moratorium doesn't cancel rent, the rent is still due and the productions only lasts until the end of the year."
To qualify for the CDC’s protections, renters must make less than $99,000 a year, or twice that if filing taxes jointly. They also have to declare that they have no other housing options available if evicted. Landlords who violate the ban will face criminal penalties.
- Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.