Eviction Tsunami on the Horizon, say Housing Advocates
Federal moratorium on evictions expires July 24


A moratorium on evictions for residents of federally backed properties expires on July 24. New Jersey housing advocates are joining national organizations calling on Congress to extend the moratorium and expand to all U.S. renters.

“Our best defense against the coronavirus has been staying home. Congress must act now to prevent evictions and protect the health and safety of Americans. Housing is health, and health is housing,” said Staci Berger, president and chief executive officer of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network). “In addition to extending the existing moratorium on evictions, Congress needs to expand that health protection for all. It’s not enough to protect only residents who live in federally supported homes. The coronavirus does not care whether or not a resident lives in a home that has a federally backed mortgage. The unprecedented pandemic in our country demands Congressional action, before people lose their homes and the health crisis deepens.”

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, it is unlawful to evict renters living in single-family and multifamily properties financed by federally backed mortgages (i.e., by Fannie, Freddie, and Department of Urban and Housing Development [HUD] loans) and renters living in federally assisted housing. The Urban Institute estimates that the moratorium applies to roughly 12.3 million (28 percent) of the 43.8 million US rental homes.

Out of Reach, a national study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition released earlier this week, found that in order to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment in New Jersey, a family would have to earn an hourly wage of $29.69, that figure nationally is $23.96. Citing the report, housing advocates say that low-wage workers have been struggling to afford their housing for decades, regardless of the state of the economy and call on state and federal lawmakers to take action.

Advocates point to the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act) which would provide $100 billion rental assistance as well as a national uniform moratorium on evictions and foreclosures. The bill was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and awaits consideration in U.S. Senate. In New Jersey, housing advocates are asking the Assembly to consider the "People's Bill" which would offer rent relief and mortgage forbearance for NJ residents. The measure has received Senate approval and now awaits consideration in the Assembly.

“Families, including those with first responders and essential workers, are under tremendous stress right now trying to figure out where to go when the federal moratorium expires next week,” said Berger. “The New Jersey eviction moratorium is a great example, but it may not last long enough. We need a national ban on evictions and foreclosures, along with federally funded rent relief, right now.”

About the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ
The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey is the statewide association of more than 250 community development corporations, individuals and other organizations that support the creation of affordable homes, economic opportunities, and strong communities. For more information on the Network, visit www.hcdnnj.org.

For more information: Nina Rainiero
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