As Congressional Republicans & Dems Dither & Dodge, A Crushing National Eviction Crisis Grows


By Anna Bauman & Meghna Chakrabarti
On Point / WBUR (8/17/20)

The federal eviction moratorium has expired, yet a staggering number of Americans still can’t make rent during the pandemic. Without a safety net, are renters barreling toward an eviction crisis?


  • Emily Benfer, law professor at Wake Forest University. Co-creator of the Eviction Lab housing policy scorecard. Chair of the American Bar Association coronavirus task force. (@emilyabenfer)
  • Josephine Leeorganizer with El Pueblo Primero, a community-based workers’ rights group in Houston, Texas.
  • Latisha Gonzalez, Ohio resident. Her landlord issued her an eviction notice last month.
  • Sue Long, On Point listener. Small-scale landlord. She called us back in May, after she and her tenants were laid off.

Link To 47-Minute Audio


There Are Solutions To The Eviction Tsunami Confronting The Nation

Up to 40 million face eviction.

By Lupe Arreola & Amee Chew
The Guardian (8/17/20)

It’s already started. A majority of US states have resumed evictions, or are allowing them despite the worsening pandemic.

As many as 40 million people nationwide face eviction due to inability to pay rent. In comparison, the 2008 foreclosure crisis saw the loss of 10m homes. Now, millions – seniors, people with disabilities, parents and children – are at risk of homelessness. Eviction preys disproportionately, in many places overwhelmingly, on Black women and people of color, deepening savage racial inequities.

It’s not too late to stop this unprecedented “eviction tsunami” and repair the damage, but we must act boldly.

The tsunami is no accident. It’s the result of landlords’ lobbying and lawmakers’ decisions. Even before the pandemic, 20.5m households were struggling to pay rent. On May Day, thousands of renters across the country launched protests demanding the government cancel rent. Instead, Congress has spent trillions bailing out the largest corporations, including private equity landlords who profited exorbitantly from the pain of the foreclosure crisis and its aftermath. Now landlords have ramped up eviction filings in anticipation of expiring eviction moratoriums, while tenants have yet to receive unemployment benefits they’ve been approved for.

Blockading evictions

From New Orleans to Kansas CityLos Angeles to New York, renters are shutting down eviction courts, blockading evictions and fighting to extend eviction moratoriums. They’re meeting their needs for shelter and creating stopgaps against homelessness where decision-makers have failed. But we need more than stopgaps that defer displacement to a later date.

Cancelling rent and mortgage payments is the most effective solution to the mounting debt and mass displacement threatening working-class communities, communities of color and low-income households during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. This means passing laws that eliminate the obligation to pay rent, late fees and missed payments accrued during the pandemic. Concurrently, mortgage debt must be forgiven or granted forbearance. Additional relief should prioritize at-risk landlords and providers of permanently affordable housing – while large corporate landlords should be taxed to help foot the bill. …

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  • Delinquent FHA Mortgages Soar By Record 60% To All Time High, As Homeowner Budgets Implode — Last month we quoted from Wolf Richter to remind readers of something we discussed several months ago when we went over the details of the forbearance process and why so many banks have chosen to use it instead of rushing to admit their balance sheets are hammered with a record surge in delinquencies and defaults. … Read The Rest