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Mass evictions of 20 million people or more may occur soon
by Lynda Carson (tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com)
Tuesday Jul 21st, 2020 5:37 PM
20 Million People May Face Eviction In The Midst Of The Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic:
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Mass evictions of 20 million people or more may occur soon

By Lynda Carson - July 21, 2020

Today was a virtual lobby day by housing activists across the nation to urge Congress to take immediate action to ensure housing stability for people experiencing homelessness and the lowest-income renters during, and after the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.

A spike in housing instability, evictions, and homelessness is expected to occur all across our nation unless Congress acts quickly to provide emergency housing resources and protections.

Message To Oakland City Council Members:

Additionally, in a message to the Oakland City Council members who may vote this evening on extending the existing blanket moratorium on residential evictions until the end of the local state of emergency because of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, many residents in Oakland including myself sent the following message to the City Council members.

Message to the City Council members: “We call on our City Council to IMMEDIATELY extend the existing blanket moratorium on residential evictions until the end of the local state of emergency. This will limit the exacerbating effects the coronavirus crisis is having on Oakland’s housing crisis. City Council must also extend the eviction protections for our small businesses and pass the Tenant Protection Upgrades so that tenants are not harassed out of their homes.

It has been over 4 months since the Alameda County Health Department issued a shelter in place order because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many Oaklanders are still struggling. 4.6 Million Californians have filed for unemployment. Many of us have lost some or all of our income during the crisis, or have had to take time off to care for children, loved ones, or recover from illness. All of us still deserve to be housed.

When shelter-in-place first began, we were unsure how long the crisis would last. Many families have now lost months of income. Many will have no jobs to return to even when the county reopens. No one should be forced to scramble for new housing during a time of quarantine or be afraid of losing their longtime home.

City Council recognized this need when the crisis began and passed the eviction moratorium to prevent mass displacement. As our moratorium nears its expiration date, City Council must extend it to fit the crisis and keep Oakland tenants housed.
City Council's original moratorium called for broader solutions at the state and federal level like mortgage relief and rent forgiveness. We still believe that these are necessary steps to preserve our housing, and we need our moratorium to ensure that there is space for these solutions to develop. Evicting tenants from their homes only makes them less likely to pay back rent, not more likely.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic reached California, Oakland faced a housing affordability crisis that threatened our public health, safety, and community stability. Now City Council must act again to keep tenants in Oakland by keeping them housed.

Thank you Councilmember Bas and Councilmember Kalb for your leadership in this critical moment.”

In response, in an email I received from Brandon Harami, a District 4, Council Aide to Oakland City Councilmember Sheng Thao, he wrote;

From: Brandon Harami
To: Lynda Carson

Mon, Jul 20 at 10:36 AM

Lynda, Councilmember Thao is supportive of extending the eviction moratorium. As the only renter on a City Council representing a city which is 60% tenants, Councilmember Thao takes tenant protections very seriously. 

Appreciate your advocacy on this. 

Best,
Brandon Harami

Emergency Moratorium on Residential Rent Increases and Evictions:

It was on March 9, 2020, that the Oakland City Administrator issued a proclamation of Local Emergency in Oakland, which was ratified by the Oakland City Council on March 12, 2020, because of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic killing tens of thousands of people across the nation, and leaving hundreds of thousands of people sick in its wake.


20 Million Renters Or More Are At Risk Of Eviction.


In a July 20, 2020, release yesterday from Dianne Yentel of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, in part she states, “Congress returns to work today, with very little time left to negotiate and enact the next coronavirus emergency spending bill.

Without a significant and sustained federal intervention, between 19 million and 23 million renters may lose their homes in the coming months. The wave of evictions has already begun; Congress must act to prevent it from being a tsunami, and we are running out of time. Please participate in tomorrow’s Virtual Lobby Day to demand immediate action from your member of Congress.

Evicting millions of families during a pandemic is cruel and immoral. It is also shortsighted and senseless. Evictions risk lives, drive families deeper into poverty, further burden overstretched hospital systems, and make it much more difficult for the country to contain the virus.

People of color are most at risk of eviction. While the current crises have heightened the threat of eviction for Black and brown renters, the threat is not new. Structural racism leaves people of color disproportionately low-income, rent-burdened, or homeless. The inequities compound the harm done by COVID-19: Black people and Native Americans bear the brunt of infections and fatalities, and Latinx and Black people bear the brunt of historic job losses. Now, their homes – and with them their family’s ability to stay safe and healthy – are at risk.

Federal, state and local eviction moratoriums provided important protections for some renters – but they are expiring rapidly and landlords and courts are beginning to evict. By the first week of July, twenty nine governors have lifted their eviction moratoriums, and we are now seeing a horrifying confluence of increasing evictions in states where new coronavirus cases are surging.”

Additionally, according to the Aspen Institute, 20 million renters are at risk of eviction, and on their website, in part it reads, “Across the country, renters and tenants advocates are sounding the alarm about the coming eviction crisis, referring to it as an avalanche or tsunami. Over the past five months, more than 44 million Americans have filed for unemployment amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As the recession continues, economic stimulus payments are spent, and expanded Unemployment Insurance expires, many of these displaced workers will be unable to make housing payments.

Mass evictions would be a disaster. For both individuals and families, evictions result in severe harm; when they become widespread, there are also significant consequences for entire communities and even the speed of economic recovery. Policymakers are actively seeking solutions, but it is difficult to prepare without knowing the size of the problem.

The COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project (CEDP) was formed to solve that problem. It is a coalition of economic researchers and legal experts who developed a model to estimate eviction risk nationally and at the state level. The disturbing result: 19 to 23 million, or one in five of the 110 million Americans who live in renter households, are at risk of eviction by September 30, 2020.”

Just try to imagine the state of New York which has a population of around 20 million residents, with around half of the residents living in the city of New York. Then try to imagine the catastrophe it would be if all the residents of the state of New York were facing eviction from their housing, with no where else to go. That is apparently the kind of scenario that may be played out soon all across the nation, leaving around 20 million people or more facing eviction and homelessness in the near future unless Congress takes drastic action to remedy the situation.

A rental assistance data base may be found by clicking here.

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com

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§Oakland extended eviction moratorium until August 31, 2020
by Lynda Carson
Tuesday Jul 21st, 2020 10:55 PM
Oakland extended eviction moratorium until August 31, 2020

Earlier this evening, the Oakland City Council unanimously voted to extend the city's moratorium on residential and commercial evictions during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic killing tens of thousands of people all across the nation, until August 31, 2020.

(LC)

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