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Evictions increase after moratoriums end

As the pandemic continues with a brand new COVID-19 variant breaching the shores of the United States, countless US residents are still looking forward to a time when the country would be “back to normal.” With some “baby steps” occurring in that direction, a sense of normalcy is making a comeback in the form of landlords evicting non-paying tenants.

The combination of federal and state eviction moratoriums driven by a pandemic has helped keep roofs over the heads of countless Californians and renters throughout the nation. In various areas of the US, the ban is now in the history books and is creating uncertainty and an ever-increasing number of evictions.

Removals on the rise

Princeton University’s Eviction Lab revealed rising eviction rates in a majority of states which provide them data. September saw a jump of 10.4 percent from the previous month. October saw a more significant increase of 38 percent above August and 25 percent more than September.

Filings seemed to be falling through November and are staying around 48 percent below pre-pandemic levels. Various financial assistance programs to cover rent and provide child tax credit payments remain. However, those programs are also facing an end as well.

The reasons for the initial jump are considered twofold. The courts are clearing out their backlog of eviction cases. Federal emergency rental assistance remains scarce and inaccessible, combined with less-than-adequate protections for tenants. Perhaps one of the more significant “drivers” is the steady increase in real estate pricing.

California is close to using up the funding provided to the state, effectively shutting down any financial assistance to renters. Many fear that landlords throughout the Golden State will feel more emboldened and less incentivized to work with their tenants.

While many do not consider it a crisis, the current eviction rate could be the calm before the storm as the holiday season is fast approaching. Renters could find themselves without a place to celebrate, let alone live.