Housing experts expect surge in renter evictions as moratoriums expire

Housing experts expect surge in renter evictions as moratoriums expire
FILE (WFTV.com News Staff)

WASHINGTON — Housing experts are expecting a surge in renter evictions as states are reopening and eviction moratoriums are expiring.

There is still a federal moratorium in place through July 24 but it mainly applies to properties with federally-backed mortgages.

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The federal moratorium was discussed during a hearing on Capitol Tuesday.

"Importantly, we mandated that tenants cannot be evicted for the non-payment of rent and forbearance,’ said Dr. Mark Calabria, Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

But at the state level, many moratoriums have expired or will soon.

"We could be looking at homelessness on a scale that people in the United States haven’t seen before, definitely not since the Great Depression,” said Eric Dunn, Director of Litigation for National Housing Law Project (NHLP).

NHLP is calling for more long-term protections for renters from the federal government.

Dunn said that includes helping people who are looking to move if the cost of living is now unaffordable because of the impact of the pandemic.

"We think giving people the ability to end a lease without any kind of financial penalty to go somewhere else if that's what they need to do is an appropriate step,” Dunn said. "People should talk to their landlords, see what they can negotiate."

The House passed a proposal that includes $100 billion in rental assistance but it’s unlikely to pass, with Republicans and the president saying it’s partisan and costly.