Stimulus Funds Prevented 1.36 Million Renters From Being Evicted in 2021 — but Will Evictions Increase This Year?

When the COVID-19 epidemic initially broke out, it resulted in a massive wave of employment and income loss across the country.

It should come as no surprise that a large number of people, both renters and homeowners, fell behind on their housing payments quite rapidly.

Protections were put in place in 2020 to prevent a homelessness crisis from enveloping the country.

One of them was the imposition of a federal eviction moratorium, as well as the opportunity for mortgage borrowers to place their mortgages into forbearance for up to 18 months.

Since then, those safeguards have been removed. The mortgage loan servicers, under pressure from watchdog agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,

have agreed to work with struggling borrowers in order to keep their homes, and $46 billion in federal rental assistance funds have been set aside to assist tenants who have fallen behind in their rent payments.

So far, the rent relief funds have done exactly what they were designed to do: they have prevented an eviction catastrophe from occurring. In 2021, it is predicted that 1.36 million tenants will have avoided eviction as a result of the assistance provided.

At this point, however, several states have already disbursed all of the monies allocated for rental assistance programmes.

Some of those who did not may have had their monies reclaimed by the federal government and transferred to states with a larger need who were able to move more quickly to disburse that aid.

As a result, the question arises as to whether eviction activity would increase this year, given the fact that several jurisdictions have run out of money for rent assistance.

There’s still some money to be had if you look around

Some states have stopped accepting applications for rent assistance, but in other regions of the country, most notably at the city or county level, assistance is still available.

Evictions Increase This Year?

As a result, tenants who have not been able to catch up on past-due rent should contact their local housing offices to find out what choices they have available.

While many states have stopped their rent relief portals to new applications, they are still processing a backlog of existing applications, which should be taken into consideration as part of this discussion.

Once the application has been processed, more renters may be eligible for assistance.

In any case, the $46 billion in federal funding for rental assistance will be depleted at some point, and local programmes will no longer be able to provide payments to tenants who have fallen behind on their rent.

And once that occurs, it is possible that an increase in evictions will follow.

Having said that, there is reason to believe that things will not be as bad as they appear. In the first place, the economy now is significantly stronger than it was when the federal rent relief funds were first established.

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Tenants who are behind on their rent may find it more realistic to increase their income and make their landlords whole at this time.

In addition, some landlords may choose not to proceed with evictions for unpaid rent if their tenants are now paying on a consistent basis instead. When it comes to landlords, eviction can be a time-consuming and expensive process.

Many people will try to avoid it, if not out of the goodness of their hearts, then simply because they don’t want to be bothered with the hassle.

Tenants should seek help if they are experiencing difficulties

Many towns and counties have been able to free up funds for rent assistance by working together. Those who are still behind on their rent payments should not be afraid to explore their possibilities to catch up.

The same is true for homeowners who are having difficulty making their mortgage payments. The support provided by some municipal housing relief programmes is not restricted to rental assistance;

instead, funds are offered to assist with the payment of mortgage obligations. Anyone who is having difficulty finding housing should look into local choices before giving up hope.

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