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Congress Placed A Temporary Hold On Evictions. What Happens If It Expires?

A homeless tent is seen at dusk next to the 110 Freeway, during the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic in Los Angeles California.
A homeless tent is seen at dusk next to the 110 Freeway, during the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic in Los Angeles California.

People experiencing homelessness were already vulnerable before the COVID-19 pandemic started. As Curbed reports, they already “must overcome stereotypes, get routinely harassed by law enforcement, and are often the victims of violent attacks.”

But the deadly virus has made conditions for the homeless even worse. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 percent of residents and 11 percent of staff in homeless shelters in three major cities tested positive for the virus in March and April alone.

Furthermore, the economic fallout from the pandemic could lead to even more homelessness. In March, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act which placed a temporary hold on evictions. This is set to expire next month, leaving many families who can’t pay rent due to the pandemic at risk.

As Jen Kirby reports for Vox:

Experts, housing activists, and renters themselves fear what could happen if there is no relief, and soon. Even before the pandemic, renters tended to be lower-income and spent a greater share of their income on housing costs compared to homeowners. A June 15 report from the Urban Institute estimates that 8.9 million households — about 20 percent of all renter households — have at least one member who’s lost a job between February and April.

What legislation, if any, is in place to ensure families aren’t evicted? We answer your questions about homelessness and the pandemic.

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