White House Halts Evictions as Coronavirus Fueled Housing Crisis Plagues the Country


Daniel Yusefian (12th), Editor

The coronavirus has affected everyone, everywhere. The infection rate still climbs and thousands die daily. People say their final goodbyes to loved ones over a measly FaceTime or Zoom call; families being torn apart.  The loneliness and desolation self-quarantining provides have been staples of this pandemic. However, one thing that has not been spoken about as often, which is undoubtedly equally as important, the staggering amount of evictions occurring during the pandemic. 


The new moratorium is projected to help upwards of about 40 million people who are struggling to pay their monthly rent. A previous estimate last month found that 23 million Americans are at risk of eviction.


Due to the evictions, the CDC used their authority to halt all evictions through the end of the year in an attempt to slow down the virus. This will allow people to continue to self-quarantine instead of risking infection and going to their workplace in order to pay rent.


The CDC’s order will apply to those who were previously eligible for stimulus checks. Those eligible are: individuals who make below $99,000, and joint couples who earn a yearly income of $198,000 or less a year. 


Even if tenants are eligible, additional criteria must be met which is posted on the CDC’s website, after which, tenants can share the declaration with their landlord. Tenants must show that they will become homeless or move into congregate housing if evicted, and must show that initiative was taken to seek government assistance.


The $150 billion Coronavirus relief fund, which is a piece of the stimulus bill signed in March, will also be used for rental assistance, an official added, 


¨Questions and concerns have also arisen on the feasibility of such a expansive moratorium on evictions. Housing experts warn that not allowing landlords to collect rent without compensating them could cause a major destabilizing effect. Felt in the commercial housing market, then the credit markets as landlords default on mortgages. ¨


Legal action by landlords may also be taken, due to their rental income being practically evaporated due to the virus.


Others, however, argue that the halt on evictions is necessary to slow the spread of Covid-19 and to give people some time to recuperate. However, most people agree that the feasibility of the moratorium is to be questioned because there simply isn’t enough funding behind it.