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July 31, 2021, 6:02 p.m. EDT

Frustration as Biden, Congress allow eviction ban to expire Saturday

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The National Apartment Association and several others this week filed a federal lawsuit asking for $26 billion in damages because of the impact of the moratorium.

Despite behind-the-scenes wrangling throughout the day, Democratic lawmakers had questions and concerns and could not muster support to extend the ban. Revising the emergency legislation to shorten the eviction deadline to Oct. 18, in line with federal COVID-19 guidelines, drew a few more lawmakers in support — but still not enough for passage.

House Democrats, leaders tried to simply approve an extension by consent, without a formal vote, but House Republicans objected.

Democratic lawmakers were livid at the prospect of evictions in the middle of a surging pandemic.

Bush, who experienced homelessness as a young mother of two in her 20s, said that, at the time, she was working in a low-wage job.

“I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what I went through, ever,” said Bush, now 45, wiping away tears during an interview at the Capitol, where dozens had joined her protest. “I don’t care what the circumstances are and so I’m going to fight now that I’m in a position to be able to do something about it.”

Waters said House leaders should have forced a vote and Biden should not have let the warnings from one justice on the Supreme Court prevent him from taking executive action to prevent evictions.

“The president should have moved on it,” Waters said. She vowed to try to pass the bill again when lawmakers return from a recess.

By the end of March, 6.4 million American households were behind on their rent, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. As of July 5, roughly 3.6 million people in the U.S. said they faced eviction in the next two months, according to the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.

Some places are likely to see spikes in evictions starting Monday, while other jurisdictions will see an increase in court filings that will lead to evictions over several months.

The administration is trying to keep renters in place through other means. It released more than $1.5 billion in rental assistance in June, which helped nearly 300,000 households.

The departments of Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture and Veterans Affairs extended their foreclosure-related eviction moratoriums through the end of September on households living in federally insured, single-family homes late Friday, after Biden had asked them to do so.

Aides to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, the chair of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, said the two were working on legislation to extend the moratorium and were asking Republicans not to block it.

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