The Supreme Court’s decision to end the eviction moratorium that kept roofs over the heads of renters is having a ripple effect nationwide. Many are predicting a record number of evictions the moment the ban ends.
Barring action from Congress, nearly 750,000 households will likely receive eviction notices in late October or early November. Up to 3.5 million still owe excessive amounts of back rent estimated at a total of $17 billion.
California’ continuing conflicts
California is not affected by the decision as the state approved its own moratorium in March of 2020 and extended it three times. Currently, the ban is set to expire at the end of September. Renters are eligible if they have lost income, received COVID-19 diagnoses, and pay 25 percent of the back rent that they owe.
Eviction exceptions exist over tenants’ health and safety measures and property owners taking rental property off the market.
Representing 19,000 landlords, the California Rental Housing Association has filed suit against the state to end the ban, claiming that California officials are interfering with their businesses and prohibiting landlords from legally taking action against those who are taking advantage if not abusing the protections.
Opponents of the lawsuit claim that property owners will eventually be reimbursed with money from a federal aid fund. However, cities and states have faced challenges in distributing the $5.2 billion, not to mention $2 billion in state money designated for unpaid utility bills. The one thing that both landlords and tenants can agree on is that the applications are far too complex, and relief is far too slow in arriving.
To date, 90,000 applications have been filed collective request one-billion dollars. To date, less than a quarter-million dollars have been provided.
Bureaucracy inaction is becoming an obstacle as both renters and landlords continue their struggles in a perpetual state of uncertainty.