Housing lawyers are warning that a COVID-19 eviction crisis is coming. Stacy Butler, director of the Innovation for Justice Program at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, states, “the truly terrifying story here is the magnitude of the impending eviction crisis—10 times our historic rate of eviction. People do not understand the ripple effect this eviction crisis is going to have. It is so much greater than individuals losing homes.”
It’s clear that this is a crisis we need to proactively prevent. While the CDC has issued a federal order that most evictions nationwide are banned until the 31st of December, this doesn’t mean that tenants aren’t obligated to pay rent. In order to avoid evictions, tenants must still go through a lengthy process to prove they’ve attempted to get governmental help and that they would be homeless if evicted. It’s clear that this is a Band-Aid to a massive problem.
We’re definitely hoping for some tangible change to help this situation long before it becomes a crisis. In the meantime, here’s what you can do to help ease this crisis:
Write to your Elected Officials.
Get in contact with your elected officials and voice your concerns about the issues that tenants are facing today. It’s as simple as shooting a quick email or call over and explaining the impact that the CDC’s policies will eventually have. Find your local officials here.
Change.org is always up and running, and while signing petitions can help, lots of petitions contain further calls to action and are associated with organizations that are doing amazing work. Sign a few evictions petitions here and learn more about organizations that are helping their communities.
Learn About Tenant Rights.
Arming yourself with information is crucial during this time. Check out the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website to learn about what rights tenants have in your state.
The eviction crisis is impending, and it’s crucial to advocate for tenants during this time. Let’s make sure to keep renters’ rights in mind as we navigate through a COVID-19-ridden world.