How the end of the eviction moratorium will affect Black Americans

Thursday, August 26th, the supreme court officially put an end to the eviction moratorium put in place by the Biden administration. 

This decision will affect millions of Americans who suffer from the financial insecurity COVID-19 has caused. The Biden administration’s moratoriums effectively slowed the mass wave of evictions that would’ve come last fall due to job losses COVID-19 was responsible for. However, millions are still behind on rent, and the end of this moratorium means we will still see a relatively large wave of evictions in these coming months. 

Minority communities are expected to suffer significantly from this moratorium ending as statistically black renters are evicted at a higher rate than any other race. 56% of black renters who have yet to catch up on their rent feel that they will likely have to leave their homes in the coming months. Not to mention that during the pandemic, people of color experienced higher rates of housing instability.

In an NPR interview with NPR correspondent Chris Arnold, who had been following the events leading up to the eviction moratorium ending, Arnold stated, “Well, you know, some of what we just heard Hepburn talking about, right? I mean, Black families historically tend to have less wealth and less savings for an emergency. So it’s just harder to call mom and dad or your uncle to borrow some money. And you see that. I spoke with a man named Ivy Ross in Jacksonville, Fla., and he lost his job cleaning and detailing semi-trucks. He also had hours cut at a second job. And he and his wife fell about 5,000 dollars behind on the rent, and they’re facing eviction.”

The fear Black Americans are experiencing over the news of the end of the moratorium is very real. The last moratorium put in place by the C.D.C. last September expired on July 31st. Low-income families and renters are trying to find the means to support themselves and avoid eviction. Being evicted can already be a traumatic experience for renters, and having an eviction on record can make finding a new home increasingly difficult. These mass evictions could worsen the housing crisis further by leaving thousands homeless for long periods of time. 

In last year’s COVID-19 relief package, Congress already approved $25 billion in rental aid to alleviate this crisis and help those who still are struggling to catch up on rent payments. They are considering approving $25 billion more. 

States such as New York and California have extended their moratoriums in hopes of protecting vulnerable renters who might otherwise have been affected. The Biden administration is also making an effort to approve a new moratorium that will apply to counties most affected by COVID-19. While some believe this proposal is unlikely to pass, some individuals think it is necessary to push the proposal forward. 

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