(Washington, D.C.)–Due to inaction by the Senate, a federal moratorium on evictions has come to an end, affecting more than 12 million households. Additionally, numerous state and local moratoria also have expired. Coupled with the pending expiration of the federal unemployment-insurance bonus and no timeline for a second stimulus check, an estimated 23 million renters are facing eviction by September. The following is a statement from Kristen Clarke, president and executive director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:
“With eviction bans expiring across the country, courts
reopening and many people facing continued unemployment, our nation faces a
crisis of enormous scale and dimension that we could easily avoid. As a result
of the Senate’s failure to act, then leaving town, millions of vulnerable
renters now stand on the brink of homelessness. We can’t stand by idly and
watch the public health emergency drive our nation’s most vulnerable families
out of their apartments and homes into the streets. Relief is needed
now to ensure that the public health emergency does not result in further
devastation for our nation’s poorest and most vulnerable families.”
In June, the House passed the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020 which allocated funding for emergency rental assistance programs and extended the eviction and foreclosure moratorium put in place by the CARES Act through March 2021. That bill has not moved forward in the Senate.
Evictions, like COVID-19, disproportionately impact Black communities. Black women are more than twice as likely than white women to face eviction. To help address this eviction crisis, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is launching the National Anti-Eviction Project. This project is recruiting pro bono lawyers and law students in select cities to provide direct legal representation to tenants facing eviction and advocating for state-level eviction bans and policy changes to improve outcomes for tenants.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes. For more information, please visit: https://lawyerscommittee.org.