Analysis: Pandemic Housing Relief Prevented Millions of Evictions

An analy­sis of data by Bloomberg shows that fed­er­al emer­gency hous­ing assis­tance dis­trib­uted as a result of the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic pre­vent­ed mil­lions of Amer­i­cans from being evict­ed, reports Jen­nah Haque in Bloomberg Pol­i­tics.

The data at a par­tic­u­lar­ly mean­ing­ful as hous­ing advo­cates urge the admin­is­tra­tion to con­tin­ue ten­ant assis­tance pro­grams, point­ing to a con­tin­u­ing rise in rent and an uncer­tain eco­nom­ic . How­ev­er, “That will be hard under leg­is­la­tion signed into law last week­end that sus­pend­ed the nation’s bor­row­ing as it clawed back unused pan­dem­ic aid and imposed caps on future increas­es in the fed­er­al bud­get,” Haque notes.

“Data on evic­tions is hard to come by, said Peter Hep­burn, asso­ciate direc­tor of the Evic­tion Lab. There are than 3,000 inde­pen­dent­ly oper­at­ed courts which han­dle evic­tions, many of which often keep doc­u­ments sealed, undig­i­tized or both.” But “The lab cred­its the pan­dem­ic mea­sures for pre­vent­ing at least 800,000 evic­tions in 31 US met­ro­pol­i­tan areas it stud­ied.” Accord­ing to U.S. Cen­sus Bureau data, 4.7 mil­lion more peo­ple report­ed being caught up on rent pay­ments in the first quar­ter of 2023 than before the Emer­gency Rental Assis­tance Pro­gram was cre­at­ed.

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