Millions of people may soon be effected as one major COVID-related policy will be expiring in a few days, and many of them have no one to blame but themselves.
Under President Donald Trump, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was granted purported authority through an executive order to impose a moratorium on evictions nationwide. The executive order “instructed federal officials to consider measures to temporarily halt evictions,” according to CBS News.
According to CBS, renters qualified for this program had to meet four criteria:
- “Have an income of $198,000 or less for couples filing jointly, or up to $99,000 for single filers.”
- “Demonstrate they have sought government assistance to make their rental payments.”
- “Affirmatively declare they are unable to pay rent because of COVID-19 hardships.”
- “Affirm they are likely to become homeless if they are evicted.”
Landlords who are found to be in violation of the executive order face fines of up to $100,000 and a year in jail.
The measure was supposed to be temporary, and the government was supposed to provide assistance to the landlords. Obviously, that didn’t work very well. Joe Biden then extended the moratorium, and set it to expire on June 30. The CDC later announced what it said was a final, one-month extension on June 24.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, roughly 3.6 million people said they will be facing eviction when the moratorium expires on July 30, 2021.
By the end of March of 2021, 6.4 million households were behind on their rent, according to statistics from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In a statement on July 29, Joe Biden called on Congress to “extend the eviction moratorium to protect such vulnerable renters and their families without delay,” stating that he has no power to extend it himself.
For the past year, there have been several programs designed to help the people who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic pay their rent, including the additional unemployment benefits set up by the federal government. Yet, many people made almost no effort to catch up on their late payments.
One example of this was shared on Twitter by a landlord. She wrote:
“Yesterday was a sad day for me & my husband. We closed on our rental property that we had NO CHOICE but to sell. The GOVERNMENT MANDATED that people could live in it for FREE for OVER A YEAR. We LOST out on over $42,000 in RENTAL INCOME.”
?Yesterday was a sad day for me & my husband. We closed on our rental property that we had NO CHOICE but to sell. The GOVERNMENT MANDATED that people could live in it for FREE for OVER A YEAR. We LOST out on over $42,000 in RENTAL INCOME.
— Hey Boo Boo ? (@HeyBooBoo16) July 24, 2021
In two subsequent tweets, she added:
“ALL of our RENTERS were RECEIVING UNEMPLOYMENT but the GOVERNMENT would not ALLOW EVICTIONS, so they just DIDN’T PAY. We got NO BREAK on paying PROPERTY TAXES, INSURANCE & UTILITIES, so we BLEW THROUGH our SAVINGS.”
“We are trying to pursue back rent at this time. My husband inherited the property from his father who died of cancer. So it’s been a bit emotional. THIS whole GOVERNMENT INDUCED TRAGEDY has done IRREPARABLE HARM to SO MANY.”
We are trying to pursue back rent at this time. My husband inherited the property from his father who died of cancer. So it’s been a bit emotional. THIS whole GOVERNMENT INDUCED TRAGEDY has done IRREPARABLE HARM to SO MANY.
— Hey Boo Boo ? (@HeyBooBoo16) July 24, 2021
The left is of course screaming about the moratorium being over, and continuing with their claims that “being a landlord isn’t a job.”
Many leftists are even calling for abolishing landlords.
Of course, they don’t understand the concept at all, many of them just think that a landlord sits around and collects money, providing no services or benefits. Obviously, that isn’t true. Landlords are responsible for paying their property taxes and mortgage, employing maintenance workers for their property and paying for their services, and paying for utilities and insurance, among many other things.
While most people don’t have as much sympathy for huge corporations that are landlords, there are thousands of mom-and-pop landlords who simply rent out one or two extra properties as side income, or their main source of income.
These people have been seriously hurt by the moratorium, and most of them have almost no recourse for the damage that has been done to them financially. They were forced to allow people to live in their properties rent-free, and had to continue paying for maintenance out of their own pockets for the tenants.
Landlords Fight Back
Some landlords are fighting back. The National Apartment Association filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, asserting that by the end of last year, more than 10 million delinquent tenants owed a total of $57 billion in unpaid rent. According to the group, these apartment owners are now responsible for $27 billion of debt not covered by federal rental assistance.
When this moratorium inevitably ends, whether Congress extends it or not, millions of people may be evicted. Obviously, there are some within this group of tenants that had legitimate reasons for missing a few payments. But the fact is, there are millions of job openings in various industries that could have helped these people pay their rent. Millions of people chose not to take these opportunities, and to instead be a drain on the system, collecting unemployment and stimulus checks while doing nothing to contribute to the economy.
It would be understandable if this was just one or two months of not paying rent, or if these people at least attempted to pay partial rent, but many people paid no rent at all.
Will these people actually be evicted, or will they just be on the hook for thousands of dollars in back rent?
The New York Post seems to think these evictions won’t happen. The Post reports:
“Property owners are likely to evict only as a last resort. The reason is basic: An owner can’t be sure of finding a replacement. For owners who rely on rental income to maintain their buildings and pay their own bills — think here of the hundreds of thousands of mom-and-pop landlords — a vacant unit is their biggest fear.
And the housing market’s prospects look uncertain, from landlords’ perspective…
Owners owed back rent by tenants who qualify for COVID-related relief would be foolish not to wait for the wheels of bureaucracy to finally start to grind — and for tenants to get what the state has promised.
Eviction will let tenants who owe back rents off the hook. For their part, tenants who have the means should want to pay, if only to protect their credit ratings.“
The New York Post also speculated as to the real reason behind the moratorium, writing: “it’s more likely that we are seeing a progressive agenda in action — one that would like to prohibit eviction altogether and/or provide housing vouchers as yet another unaffordable entitlement.”
Many conservatives are also making that point, wondering if this is all part of some bigger plan. Perhaps, when millions of evictions start to happen and the media begins to portray this as a crisis, the government will swoop in at the last minute and bail out the renters. Or, the government could provide funding for corporations to purchase these failing rental properties, as many owners are going bankrupt, effectively bailing out big rental corporations.
For a more in-depth analysis of the looming aftermath of the moratorium, a discussion of the millions of people who may be homeless within the next month, and a general discussion of the economic failures of the Biden administration, listen to this video from commentator Tim Pool: