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The next economic stimulus package could include relief for tenants affected by the pandemic.
In a round-up of the bipartisan legislation distributed on Wednesday, lawmakers included a national eviction moratorium through February 2021 and $ 25 billion in rent support for tenants who have defaulted.
These funds would be aimed at households earning 50% of the median income in the region and below and could, according to preliminary data, cover up to 18 months of rent back. State and local governments would pay the aid.
It is not yet clear whether Congress will be able to reach an agreement before the end of the year, despite housing advocates warning of a historic eviction crisis without further government intervention.
The national eviction ban on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expires at the end of December. More than 12 million Americans – or one in six adult renters – said in November they are failing to collect their rent.
Researchers have found that evictions make the spread of Covid worse.
A recent study found that between March and September 433,700 cases of the virus in excess and 10,700 additional deaths were caused by states lifting eviction moratoriums.
“When you look at an infectious disease like Covid-19, evictions can have implications not only for the health of displaced families, but the health of the wider community,” said Kathryn Leifheit, one of the study’s authors and a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.