About half of the states have started lifting eviction moratoriums, according to Emily Benfer, a housing expert and visiting law professor at Columbia Law School.
“Already, renters are incurring debt to stay housed, paying rent on credit cards, taking out loans, drying up what limited savings they have,” Benfer told CNN.
“The reality is that these landlords are really anxious to try and get paying tenants into their properties,” said Dana Karni, attorney for the organization to CNN.
Without assistance, Benfer said, “the magnitude of missed rent and the debt that accrues each month will continue to grow and escalate the immediate housing crisis for renters and property owners alike.”
Some states are moving to offer aid. Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday announced the creation of a rental assistance fund as her state’s eviction restrictions lifted using money the federal government has made available to states through the $2 trillion congressional aid package passed in March.
“I know that some Iowans who have experienced a reduction in income due to Covid-19 may have difficulty paying their rent or mortgage payments in the months to come,” Reynolds said at a press briefing this week.
That victory came as a proposal by Gianaris to cancel rent altogether has stalled in the state legislature.
“It’s not everything I would have liked but it’s a good start,” Gianaris told CNN. “At the end of the day, my goal is to keep people in their homes and stave off a massive housing catastrophe which we’re headed towards.”
“Every single month that we don’t help families is another month accumulated of more rent or more mortgage,” Ramirez told CNN.