Expert warns of housing ‘apocalypse’ as COVID aid expires

Eldis Sula
June 13, 2020 - 8:59 am

    The coronavirus pandemic has left Americans facing financial hardships at unprecedented rates.

    Now, as protections under the CARES Act are poised to expire, experts are concerned about the impact that the virus could have on the housing market.

    With more than 2 million Americans facing evictions each year, the U.S. was already in what some deemed a housing crisis before the pandemic, reports CNBC.

    However, the full effects of the COVID-borne recession are yet to be seen, according to some experts.

    This summer, housing protections put in place both locally and nationwide are set to end. On the federal level, the ban on evictions on federally assisted properties are set to expire on July 25. Additionally, bans on evictions in states like Massachusetts, New York and Michigan also begin to expire this month, according to Princeton University’s Eviction Lab.

    On top of this, the extra $600 in weekly unemployment granted under the CARES Act — which “has been allowing many people who have lost their jobs to continue paying rent,” Solomon Greene, a senior fellow in housing policy at the Urban Institute, told CNBC — are currently expected to expire at the end of the June.

    Such conditions create the perfect storm, as evicting people during a pandemic makes them more susceptible to contracting and spreading coronavirus, which would turn “a catastrophe into an apocalypse,” according to Aaron Carr, founder and executive director of the Housing Rights Initiative.

    “A lot of people could be on the streets,” Carr told CNBC.

    He emphasized: “Especially in places like New York City that already have a homeless problem, it could turn into a homeless nightmare.”

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