CDC eviction moratorium extension vacated by US Supreme Court!

No more eviction moratorium

I’m going to start this write-up by saying, I have sympathy for those who have fallen on hard times due to COVID-19, it’s a crappy situation for tenants and landlords alike in these unprecedented COVID times.

As someone who works in property management, I have seen firsthand the hardship that landlords have experienced due to the eviction moratorium, some not receiving any rent for 16 months, while still having to pay for the upkeep of their properties, mortgages (please note, that the moratorium, only applies to federally backed mortgages), property taxes, utilities, etc, from their savings, or by acquiring debt. We have seen long-held rental properties being sold, instead of continuing to hemorrhage money.

I hear lots of anger towards landlords and management companies, with such phrases as “they make lots of money”, and “they can afford it”. But, the reality is, especially in the midwest, the vast majority of landlords have a handful of single-family home rentals or a single property with 100 units, NOT making a lot of profit. Yes, there are some massively profitable national corporations who own tens of thousands of units across the nation, but most are small landlords trying to make a living from renting homes.

There are a lot of people who genuinely are unable to pay, or are not able to pay the full rental rate amount, but there are also others taking advantage, based upon comments from some on social media. For example, tenants have received thousands of dollars in stimulus checks from the Trump and Biden administrations, which was spent on technology, or a new (to them) car, but nothing for their landlord. The issue is that many seem to think that it’s free rent, eventually getting evicted, and just moving on. The reality is very different, as soon as they apply for a new rental home, they’ll find that the prospective landlord will deny their application because of the eviction and a delinquent balance elsewhere.

I don’t often agree with the conservatives on the Supreme Court, but in this case, I do agree with them in regard to the vacating of the CDC eviction moratorium. Clearly, Congress is not interested in passing legislation to create a new eviction moratorium, and/or further assistance for renters, they’ve had plenty of time to write and enact a new law, but instead have sat with their thumbs up their collective asses.

It’s an untenable situation, extending the moratorium, just kicks the can down the road, it does not fix the issue, if anything, it makes it worse, their balance increases, making paying off that rent balance near impossible. Clearly, the government and CDC have no plan for the future. In many states, much of the $50 billion in rental assistance from the federal government still has not been disbursed five months later.

Given that the COVID-19 pandemic is now entering its third wave, with infection rates back to winter 2020/21 numbers, and some states, particularly Texas and Florida are experiencing their highest number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations since this pandemic started a year and a half ago. Dr. Anthony Fauci is now saying if people wear masks and get vaccinated, we could have Coronavirus under control by Spring 2022, but with a third of the US being anti-mask, anti-vax, or both, that is being optimistic.

Circling back to the CDC eviction moratorium, if it is to be extended consistently due to COVID-19 infections still rising across the United States, no landlord would get another cent, until people’s attitude to COVID-19, masks, and vaccinations change, COVID-19 is going to be with us for the foreseeable future.

I see plenty of tweets from US Congresspeople calling out the SCOTUS decision, saying they are on the wrong side of history, while Congress, as a whole, consistently passed the buck, watching the Moratorium expire at the end of July, before the CDC’s unconstitutional extension of the moratorium.

So, Congress, are you going to act to help renters and landlords? the ball is in your court, stop passing the buck, looking around for someone else to act! The Supreme Court has acknowledged that Congress has the power to create legislation to extend the eviction moratorium and force states to immediately distribute rental assistance,  rental assistance is useless sitting in states coffers, collecting interest.

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