COVID-19

Will more renters be evicted now that bans are lifting?

Andy Uhler May 21, 2020
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Around the country, measures were enacted to protect renters from evictions as their incomes disappeared. But those orders are temporary. Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

Will more renters be evicted now that bans are lifting?

Andy Uhler May 21, 2020
Heard on:
Around the country, measures were enacted to protect renters from evictions as their incomes disappeared. But those orders are temporary. Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Before COVID-19, San Antonio resident Nesteschia Ingram worked with folks who have Alzheimer’s, but that work has since dried up. 

“I’m paying rent right now and the managers have been very helpful, doing payment plans and stuff like that,” she said.

Ingram is in a better position than many other Texas renters. Even though she lost her job, she’s still able to make rent because her husband’s still working. But Heather Way, a law professor at University of Texas at Austin, said some landlords in Texas are lining up to evict tenants for not paying.

“Families around the state are really having to make hard choices between do I pay rent, I put food on the table, do I pay these health care bills?” Way said.

And given those choices, many Texans will choose not paying rent.

Back in March, the state of Texas enacted measures to protect renters from evictions as their incomes disappeared. But that order, like others around the country, was temporary. 

It’s back to pre-pandemic days as of May 19 in many Texas cities — if people can’t pay the rent, their landlord can try to kick them out. 

And if that results in eviction, that could ultimately lead to damaged credit, difficulty finding another place to live and homelessness.

But Fred Fuchs, a tenant advocate for Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, warns landlords to avoid a rush to evict.

“If they can forbear and they are willing to be reasonable, I firmly believe they will be way ahead,” he said. “Who are they going to lease to in this economy right now?” 

Mark Hurley, Nesteschia Ingram’s landlord in San Antonio, wants to avoid evicting his tenants. He said it costs about $3,000 to turn around an apartment.

“You evict, you have an empty apartment, you have to fix it all up, you have to market it and all that. So we don’t want to evict,” Hurley said.

But many housing advocates worry that Hurley is in the minority among landlords, and now that the state moratorium on evictions has been lifted, more people will be forced out of their homes.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Millions of Americans are unemployed, but businesses say they are having trouble hiring. Why?

This economic crisis is unusual compared to traditional recessions, according to Daniel Zhao, senior economist with Glassdoor. “Many workers are still sitting out of the labor force because of health concerns or child care needs, and that makes it tough to find workers regardless of what you’re doing with wages or benefits,” Zhao said. “An extra dollar an hour isn’t going to make a cashier with preexisting conditions feel that it’s safe to return to work.” This can be seen in the restaurant industry: Some workers have quit or are reluctant to apply because of COVID-19 concerns, low pay, meager benefits and the stress that comes with a fast-paced, demanding job. Restaurants have been willing to offer signing bonuses and temporary wage increases. One McDonald’s is even paying people $50 just to interview.

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India and South Africa have introduced a proposal to temporarily suspend patents on COVID-19 vaccines. Backers of the plan say it would increase the supply of vaccines around the world by allowing more countries to produce them. Skeptics say it’s not that simple. There’s now enough supply in the U.S that any adult who wants a shot should be able to get one soon. That reality is years away for most other countries. More than 100 countries have backed the proposal to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. The U.S isn’t one of them, but the White House has said it’s considering the idea.

Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy begins reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.

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