COVID-19

With July rents due, renters brace for evictions

Jasmine Garsd Jun 30, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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Many renters rights organizations are saying that government needs to step in, and help both renters and landlords stay afloat. Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

With July rents due, renters brace for evictions

Jasmine Garsd Jun 30, 2020
Many renters rights organizations are saying that government needs to step in, and help both renters and landlords stay afloat. Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images
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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

What’s the latest on the extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits?

As of now, those $600-a-week payments will stop at the end of July. For many, unemployment payments have been a lifeline, but one that is about to end, if nothing changes. The debate over whether or not to extend these benefits continues among lawmakers.

With a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, are restaurants and bars shutting back down?

The latest jobs report shows that 4.8 million Americans went back to work in June. More than 30% of those job gains were from bars and restaurants. But those industries are in trouble again. For example, because of the steep rise in COVID-19 cases in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, increased restrictions on restaurant capacities and closed bars. It’s created a logistical nightmare.

Which businesses got Paycheck Protection Program loans?

The numbers are in — well, at least in part. The federal government has released the names of companies that received loans of $150,000 or more through the Paycheck Protection Program.

Some of the companies people are surprised got loans include Kanye West’s fashion line, Yeezy, TGI Fridays and P.F. Chang’s. The companies you might not recognize, particularly some smaller businesses, were able to hire back staff or partially reopen thanks to the loans.

You can find answers to more questions on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 here.

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