Protections against eviction expired on Sunday, following Republican opposition to extending the government’s moratorium and when about 16% of American households owe rent, twice as much as before the pandemic.
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Eviction protections expired Sunday to millions of Americans who could be homeless in a matter of days, sparking efforts to unlock billions in stalled rental assistance.
The tenants had been protected from eviction for nearly a year as part of a government moratorium aimed at keeping people in their homes during the covid-19 pandemic.
But legislators have not extended those protections that are expiring, while just $ 3 billion in aid has reached Americans’ homes out of the $ 25 billion allocated to states and localities at the beginning of February.
“We should be compassionate. We should help. And if that money is there, we should use it for its intended purpose,” said the Democratic senator. Joe Manchin on CNN’s “State of the Union” show.
In some states, more than a quarter of renters are behind on their rent, according to the think tank Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The southern states are among the hardest hit. At the national level, about 16% of American households owe rent, about twice as many as in debt before the pandemic.
The protections expired at midnight on Saturday, two days after the White House announced that it could not legally renew the moratorium.
Republicans opposed Democratic efforts to extend the freeze until mid-October, and the House of Representatives suspended its sessions for the summer break on Friday without renewing it.
The Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez he blamed the administration of President Joe Biden for waiting until the last minute to ask Congress to act.
He added that it is unfair to expel people when billions of dollars in aid have not been used (Congress has approved a total of 46,000 million dollars) and called for an immediate vote to extend the moratorium. “We cannot kick people out of their homes when our end of the bargain has not been fulfilled.”he told CNN.
Unlike other pandemic-related aid that was distributed from Washington, in this case states, counties and cities were responsible for creating programs to distribute assistance to tenants.
The moratorium on evictions and other protections prevented nearly 2.2 million eviction requests from being completed since March 2020, said Peter Hepburn, a researcher at the Princeton University Evictions Laboratory.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism