Politics Consumer bureau launches rental aid tool with eviction cliff looming
Rent relief efforts slowly ramp up as millions could soon face eviction
With just over a week left until the federal eviction ban expires, the race to get emergency rent relief to as many struggling tenants and landlords as possible is in its final stretch. © Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram/Getty Images A new 95-unit affordable housing development in Long Beach, California. "It is a race against the clock," said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. After a slow start, the pace of distributing the $46 billion for rent relief that was allotted in the December stimulus package and the American Rescue Plan has improved.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Wednesday launched a website meant to connect struggling tenants with federal rental aid providers with less than a week until a federal eviction ban is set to expire.
The CFPB's is intended to match tenants with the state and local organizations charged with disbursing more than $46 billion in federal aid meant to prevent a wave of evictions. While the federal government has disbursed all of that money to state and local distributors, of it has reached tenants, landlords and utility companies by the end of June.
Evictions loom after Biden and Congress fail to extend ban
More than 3.6 million Americans are at risk of eviction, some in a matter of days, as nearly $47 billion in federal housing aid to the states during the pandemic has been slow to make it into the hands of renters and landlords owed payments. The moratorium expires at midnight. © Michael Dwyer People from a coalition of housing justice groups hold signs protesting evictions during a news conference outside the Statehouse in Boston, Mass. People from a coalition of housing justice groups hold signs protesting evictions during a news conference outside the Statehouse in Boston, Mass.
Millions of U.S. households could face eviction proceedings within days with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s moratorium set to expire on Aug.1 Researchers at the Aspen Institute, a non-partisan think tank, estimated in 6.5 million households are at risk of eviction when the moratorium expires.
The Biden administration is scrambling to get as much rental assistance out as possible to avert the wave evictions. The White House on Wednesday also announced commitments from companies such as Square, PayPal, GoFundMe, and Lyft to promote the CFPB's rental assistance tool and the federal rental aid program to customers.
A range of nonprofits and industry groups are also teaming up with several federal departments to reach tenants in need of rental aid, the White House said, including United Way, Operation HOPE, The Arc, the National Apartment Association, and the National Multifamily Housing Coalition.
Protesters Tape 'Eviction Notice' on Nancy Pelosi's Home as Moratorium Ends
Dozens of activists called on Nancy Pelosi to "immediately call Congress to session to vote to extend the eviction moratorium."About 40 activists arrived outside Pelosi's San Francisco home on Saturday, just hours before the moratorium's last extension expired leaving more than 10 million Americans facing the prospect of being told to leave their homes.
"Agencies across the federal government, non-profit groups, faith-based organizations, and private sector companies are responding to the Biden-Harris Administration's call to action to raise awareness. We expect that these efforts will reach tens of millions of Americans," the White House said in a Wednesday announcement.
Even so, a growing number of Democratic lawmakers and housing rights advocates are calling on the administration to extend the eviction ban with the vast majority of rental aid still stuck in the pipeline.
"Some states and cities are successfully ramping up their programs and getting the money quickly to those who need it, but many more need to dramatically improve and expedite their efforts. At this time, even if they do, they can't reach all the 6.5 million families in need before the moratorium expires this week," said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, during a House hearing Tuesday.
"States and cities, renters and families need more time."
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) also that the CDC must also extend the moratorium because of rising cases of COVID-19 driven by the delta variant.
"It is reckless not to extend the deadline when rental assistance funds have not gone out fast enough to protect people. Eviction filings have already spiked in anticipation of the moratorium being lifted," she said.
Revealed: Dems took millions from real estate developers before allowing eviction moratorium to end .
"Real estate developer money unites the Democratic Party" A sign calling for an extension to a federal eviction moratorium sits near Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) as she spends the night outside the U.S. Capitol on July 31, 2021.