Millions across the U.S. could be forced from their homes in the middle of the pandemic if Congress does not extend the federal eviction moratorium that is due to expire at the end of December. Congress is expected to push the moratorium back by one month, to January 31, in the $900 billion stimulus bill being debated in Washington, but such an extension would only be a temporary fix to a much wider problem. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that one-third of U.S. households are behind on rent or mortgage payments and will likely face eviction or foreclosure in the next two months. We speak with UCLA researcher Kathryn Leifheit, who says the lifting of state eviction moratoriums this summer led to 430,000 new COVID infections and 10,000 deaths. “We think these deaths are preventable, and they could have been prevented had those moratoriums been kept in place,” says Leifheit. We also speak with tenant rights activist Tara Raghuveer, who says the federal evictions moratorium “wasn’t good enough to begin with,” but allowing it to expire would leave “millions of families vulnerable to eviction within the first 20 days of the next year.”
This post was originally published on Radio Free.