The national moratorium on evictions ended Saturday despite a last minute bid by Democratic lawmakers to extend it for another month. The ban on evictions was first put in place by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September 2020.
With the moratorium in place, tenants could miss rental payments without fear of eviction, but housing providers were still left having to pay their own mortgages and other bills. As such, housing providers – including both corporate providers and private individuals – have had to shoulder more than $13 billion in unpaid rent each month for the duration of the eviction ban.
Finally the ban, which had been extended several times by President Joe Biden’s administration, came to and end.
Now, things are likely to move quickly. With the eviction ban now at an end, tenants who missed payments will need to resume paying. They will also have to make up for previously missed payments, which will likely mean sitting down with their housing provider and coming to an agreement on what they can afford to pay back. If they fail to resume rental payments and don’t agree a deal to repay what’s been missed, landlords will be able to start eviction proceedings.
However, some states have announced extended protections for tenants. California, Illinois, and New York, among others, have all passed state-wide extensions on the eviction moratorium, meaning landlords there will have to continue sitting tight.
Tenants who live in housing supplied by federal agencies such as the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Department of Agriculture, Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development also remain under protection as those have all extended eviction moratoriums until Sept. 30.
The good news for tenants that must resume paying is that rent assistance is still available. Two pieces of legislation passed earlier this year obtained almost $50 billion in emergency rental assistance, but just 6.5% of these funds have been distributed.
It has been a slow roll out, held back by a laborious application process. However, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has just announced a new online tool for renters and housing providers that are still facing pandemic-related financial hardship. It enables them to locate and apply for payment assistance, covering rent, utility bills and other expenses.
The new Rental Assistance Finder can guide housing providers and renters to aid programs in their area.