Without new stimulus bill, 40 million Americans face potential evictions

Coronavirus

Up to 40 million Americans could be evicted by the end of this year, according to a new report published Friday by the Aspen Institute.

The report warns that the United States may be facing the most severe housing crisis in history if conditions do not change, with up to 43% of renter households facing eviction this year.

“As the data demonstrates, the gravity of this situation cannot be overstressed,” said Emily Benfer, law professor at Wake Forest University School of Law and a co-author of the report. “Unless the federal government invests in eviction prevention, we are not only risking widespread eviction and homelessness, we are guaranteeing negative health outcomes, greater unemployment, educational decline, and long-term harm for renters, property owners and communities.”

People of color — particularly Black and Latino Americans — make up about 80% of those facing eviction. Last month, 26% of Black renters and 25% of Latino renters were unable to pay rent compared with 13% of white renters, according to US Census data analyzed by the Aspen Institute.

Renters in the southern part of the country face the highest risk of eviction, with the highest percentage in Louisiana (56%), and Mississippi (58%). Up to 48% of renters in Alabama are at risk of eviction, with 45% of renters in Connecticut, Florida and Georgia.

The federal protections on evictions expired on July 24, while 30 states are without state-level protections against eviction. At least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance, with the extension of enhanced unemployment benefits, would help stave off millions of evictions, according to the report.

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