More vulnerable than ever: Virginia Tech expert discusses eviction moratorium set to expire
Millions of Americans could be facing eviction later this month, when national housing protections expire, leaving at-risk households more vulnerable than ever, according to Virginia Tech housing expert Mel Jones.
“I think the eviction moratorium sent a clear message that it was not appropriate to evict folks in the middle of a pandemic, but the guidance wasn’t universally followed and the CDC’s authority to issue the moratorium is being questioned,” said Jones, a research scientist with the Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech with expertise in housing affordability, economics, housing data, and urban planning.
“I think we can expect CDC eviction moratorium to have waning influence no matter what because folks who are not back to work may not be back to work soon and landlords cannot forego rent forever. They have to pay their mortgages, too,” Jones said.
More than 11 million Americans are currently behind on their rent. Most at risk are people of color, those with low incomes and older Americans.
“The child tax credit is going to make a huge difference for families and may be the safety net they need to get them beyond their pandemic hardships,” said Jones. “However, those who are evicted will be in a tough spot– likely seeking housing with family members and friends.”
“The housing market is tighter than ever and we need government support to build the housing we need. With the most vulnerable getting last dibs in the market, I expect an uptick in overcrowding and homelessness as landlords turn over units and increase rents.”