Covering Coronavirus: The End of the Eviction Moratorium and Pandemic Aid
The pandemic is far from over but crucial COVID-19 protections and benefits are gone. When the Supreme Court struck down the CDC eviction moratorium in August, nearly 6 million renters — roughly 14% — were behind on rent, about 1 million faced the imminent threat of losing their homes, and landlords across the country were still waiting for federal rental assistance promised last spring. Some local or state moratoriums and assistance programs offer renters protection — for now. But in many states, evictions cases are jamming the courts and families are scrambling to find increasingly scarce affordable housing. The crisis is compounded by the expiration of expanded unemployment benefits, which kept some 5.5 million people from falling into poverty during the pandemic. This webinar explores the end of renter protections, unemployment benefits and other emergency relief, and what it means for the nation’s pandemic recovery and the health and well-being of low-income people, their families and their communities. Who are the tenants at greatest risk of eviction? Who’s pursuing cases most aggressively? Why isn’t aid getting to those who need it? And how can journalists best convey the desperate struggle of so many families as the social supports that kept them afloat have vanished? Panelists will share stories from the ground, explain the aid hurdles, discuss policy solutions and offer guidance on covering housing loss and economic insecurity in your community.
This webinar is free and made possible by The Commonwealth Fund, the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation and The California Endowment.
Kriston Capps is a staff writer for Bloomberg CityLab in Washington, D.C. He covers housing, architecture and the built environment. He previously worked as a senior editor for Architect magazine and has been a contributing writer for The Washington City Paper. He was the winner of the inaugural Sarah Booth Conroy Prize for Journalism and Architectural Criticism.
Peter Hepburn is an assistant professor of global urban studies and urban systems at Rutgers University. He is a sociologist and demographer whose research examines how changes to three core social institutions — work, criminal justice and housing — produce inequality and perpetuate it across generations. In collaboration with Matthew Desmond and the Eviction Lab at Princeton University, he is working on a number of projects that analyze housing instability and precariousness. These include projects investigating serial eviction filings, the demographic characteristics of individuals facing eviction, urban-suburban differences in eviction rates, the consequences of parental eviction for children’s educational trajectories, and the link between gentrification and eviction.
Tina Rosales is an attorney and advocate on the housing team of the Western Center on Law & Poverty. She works on land use policies, housing production for people with low to no income, landlord/tenant law, homelessness, fair housing, and other housing issues. She previously worked for Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, where she specialized in landlord/tenant litigation and homelessness issues. She is a member of the California Bar and a graduate of U.C. Hastings College of the Law.
Suggested reading & resources
- “Where Will the Eviction Wave Hit? Follow the Big Landlords,” by Kriston Capps, Bloomberg CityLab, Aug. 28, 2021
- “Thousands Face Eviction Without a Lawyer — A Bill Before the State Senate Would Even the Odds,” by Tina Rosales, Ethnic Media Services, Aug. 31, 2021
- “To Get Federal Rent Relief From Tenants, Landlords File Evictions Against Them,” by Kriston Capps, Bloomberg CityLab, Aug. 5, 2021
- “Why Can’t the Government Stop Evictions?” by Kriston Capps, Bloomberg CityLab, Feb. 11, 2021
- “Jobless Americans Left Scrambling After Pandemic Unemployment Benefits End,” by Tami Luhbi, CNN, Sept. 6, 2021
- “‘An Epidemic in Itself’: Why Billions of Federal Aid Isn’t Making it to Renters, Landlords During the Pandemic,” by Joey Garrison and Michael Collins, USA Today, Aug. 15, 2021
- “U.S. Eviction Filing Patterns in 2020” by Peter Hepburn, Renee Louis, Joe Fish et al., SAGE Journals, April 27, 2021
- “Racial and Gender Disparities Among Evicted Americans,” by Peter Hepburn, Renee Louis and Matthew Desmond, Sociological Science, Dec. 16, 2020
- “Eviction Records Follow People Around for Years. This Isn’t Fair.” by Rasheedah Phillips, Next City, June 4, 2021
- “A Year of Avoiding Evictions in Tennessee,” by Oliver Whang, The New Yorker, July 30, 2021