Summit on Renter Assistance and Eviction Prevention Hosted by White House
It remains uncertain whether any extra assistance beyond the monies now available will be provided.
Given the end of widespread financial assistance to people who needed it—and frequently did not receive it—a backlog from the moratorium, the challenge of obtaining court statistics, and other factors, it is difficult to estimate the current eviction rates. The Eviction Lab at Princeton University estimates that landlords file 3.6 million eviction proceedings annually.
A summit on long-lasting eviction prevention reform was held by the White House and the Department of the Treasury. The summit focused on the use of remaining American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds from ERA and State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) assistance,” both of which, by definition, won’t last for very long.
According to figures cited by the Biden administration, things appear to be better than usual after the pandemic-induced slump. According to an analysis of data gathered by the Eviction Lab at Princeton University, “despite projections of an eviction “tsunami” following the end of the CDC eviction moratorium in August 2021, eviction filings nationally have remained 26% below historic averages in the 10 months since the end of the moratorium.”
Although the administration credits this to its numerous meetings, the promotion of the use of funds to provide legal assistance, and other recommendations conveyed to state and municipal governments, it is unclear exactly how or why things changed. They claim a major factor was the drive for eviction diversion programs in 180 jurisdictions spread over 36 states. However, the greatest strategy to prevent evictions in a market where rents are rapidly increasing and inflation is depleting consumers’ financial resources, particularly those of lower-income individuals, is likely making sure that people can pay their rent.
According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, the White House’s aim was “to discuss future actions in this space and highlight states and localities that they feel are ‘getting it right.’”
Beyond urging state and local governments to use leftover ERAP monies and State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) to help tenants and housing providers who are having difficulty, the organization claimed that it was “unclear what specific efforts the White House will undertake.”
While the Eviction Lab did report that since mid-March 2020, landlords have filed for 1,103,236 evictions in the six states and 31 cities it tracks, it is unknown what proportion of rental homes in the nation that includes. The pandemic eviction moratorium was also in effect during this time; it was only lifted in August after the Supreme Court determined that the CDC lacked the power to continue the activity.
As a result, it’s hard to say where things stand right now, how much difficulties tenants are having due to inflation while also experiencing a robust job market, and whether or not landlords are experiencing exceptionally high levels of difficulty.
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