COVID-19

With July rents due, renters brace for evictions

Jasmine Garsd Jun 30, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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A building tenant hangs a sign from his roof in the Crown Heights neighborhood of New York City during a rent strike on May 1. Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

With July rents due, renters brace for evictions

Jasmine Garsd Jun 30, 2020
A building tenant hangs a sign from his roof in the Crown Heights neighborhood of New York City during a rent strike on May 1. Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Rent for many people is due on Wednesday, July 1, and housing rights groups across the country say they are bracing for a wave of eviction complaints in July.

Texas, New York and Virginia are among states where moratoriums on eviction, put in place due to the pandemic, have expired. But millions of Americans are still out of work.

For some tenants, it’s not just July rent that’s due. It’s now several months’ worth.

“We are extremely worried, because all of the indicators point to there being massive evictions across the country,” said Lisa Rice, CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance. “And we do not have the infrastructure to deal with that.”

According to the Urban Institute, nearly 20% of people who rent did not pay in June. Rice said evictions may disproportionately affect Black and Latino households, who are about twice as likely to be renters as whites.

Richard St. Paul, with the New York City Small Homeowners Association that represents landlords, said they need help too. Mortgage payments are due.

“Most of our members have relationships with the tenants. What our members want is some type of assistance, that will help the tenants,” St. Paul said.

That’s also what many renters rights organizations are saying: that government needs to step in, and help both renters and landlords stay afloat.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Are states ready to roll out COVID-19 vaccines?

Claire Hannan, executive director of the nonprofit Association of Immunization Managers, which represents state health officials, said states have been making good progress in their preparations. And we could have several vaccines pretty soon. But states still need more funding, she said. Hannan doesn’t think a lack of additional funding would hold up distribution initially, but it could cause problems down the road. “It’s really worrisome that Congress may not pass funding or that there’s information circulating saying that states don’t need additional funding,” she said.

How is the service industry dealing with the return of coronavirus restrictions?

Without another round of something like the Paycheck Protection Program, which kept a lot of businesses afloat during the pandemic’s early stages, the outlook is bleak for places like restaurants. Some in the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, only got one week of indoor dining back before cases rose and restrictions went back into effect. Restaurant owners are revamping their business models in an effort to survive while waiting to see if they’ll be able to get more aid.

How are hospitals handling the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases?

As the pandemic surges and more medical professionals themselves are coming down with COVID, nearly 1 in 5 hospitals in the country report having a critical shortage of staff, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. One of the knock-on effects of staff shortages is that people who have other medical needs are being asked to wait.

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