Millions of Americans are in a “race against the clock” to receive rental assistance before the end of the month, when a federal eviction moratorium designed to help people cope during the coronavirus pandemic expires.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eviction moratorium ends on 30 June, and some states will still have local renter protections in place. But in the vast majority of states, rental assistance – an essential lifeline for millions – could arrive too late, according to housing advocates.
“At this point it’s a race against the clock to try to get the money to the tenants who need it to keep them stably housed when the eviction moratorium expires,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC).
In mid-May, 7.49 million US adults said they were not current on rent or mortgage payments and had slight or no confidence they could make next month’s payment, according to the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.
So far, the eviction moratorium has kept many of these families housed. There were 1.55m fewer eviction cases last year than would be filed in a typical year, according to an estimate by the Eviction Lab.
Without the moratorium, they will need access to the $46.55bn in rental assistance allocated by the government to help renters and landlords – though its distribution got off to a slow start.