EDITOR NOTE: With the eviction moratorium now expired, the looming risk falls on the 16% of tenants across America behind on their rent. This means that millions of Americans face eviction and not perfect timing that the House is now on recess. Those among them who are unemployed face another set of risks--as enhanced unemployment benefits are set to expire in a month amid a significant uptick in delta variant cases. Perhaps Democrats did everything within their means to extend the moratorium. But their program, which compensated landlords up to 60% of the lost rent, nevertheless forced them to take a 40% loss. While kicking a family out to the curb is a tragically unpleasant sight, let’s not forget that some of these landlords are small households who depend on their tenants’ rent payments for their family’s income and subsistence. Regardless, when the government can step in and force businesses to take losses in order to fulfill its agenda, no matter what it might be, you know that we’re living in a statist society. Democracy, or the image thereof, is on borrowed time.
The pain starts in the South. Laws and procedures to evict tenants in some Southern states are among the most landlord-friendly in U.S.
Nationally, about 16% of adult renters live in households that are behind on rent payments.
Checking in With Nancy Pelosi
It is a moral imperative to keep people from being put out in the street which also contributes to the public health emergency.
The virus is still a threat, the moratorium must be extended and the funds Congress allocated to assist renters and landlords must be spent.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 1, 2021
— Jodie (@JodieHMoss) August 1, 2021
Time Ran Out on Renters
“In my view, clear and specific congressional authorization (via new legislation) would be necessary for the CDC to extend the moratorium past July 31,” Kavanaugh wrote.
The WSJ reports Renters in South Appearing Most Vulnerable.
A senior White House official said last week that an administrative—rather than legislative—extension of the moratorium would quickly be struck down by the Supreme Court. [Mish Comment: How can Pelosi not know this?"]
Renters in Southern states are among the most vulnerable to the ban’s expiration, U.S. Census survey data indicate. Mississippi, South Carolina and Georgia tenants are more likely to carry rent debt than the U.S. average, surveys show. Nationally, about 16% of adult renters live in households that are behind on rent payments.
In Mississippi, tenants can lose their eviction case in court and be removed from their home on the same day. In Arkansas, landlords can pursue criminal charges for tenants who don’t pay rent. And in western Tennessee, where a federal judge ruled that the CDC ban was unconstitutional, tenants are already getting evicted for nonpayment.
Rent increases in cities like Charlotte, N.C., Jacksonville, Fla., and Memphis, Tenn., have outpaced the rest of the country. In Atlanta, rents rose 12.7% during the past year, according to listings website Apartment List, exceeding the national average of 10.3%. Rents in some Atlanta suburbs have risen more than 20% during that period.
On CNN, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) said on Sunday that the House should reconvene to extend the moratorium and she also cast blame on the White House for not requesting Congress act earlier. The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Federal program only pays 60% of lost rent to landlords. Admittedly, that's much better than nothing, but it's also an illegal action by the government to impose such losses.
Although the money does not go to renters, they still have to apply, but didn't. That's why almost all of the $46.6 billion in federal rental assistance sits undistributed. The Mississippi distribution rate is a mere 6% of allotment.
The Biden administration did little or nothing to promote this assistance.
A judge in DeKalb county Georgia (Atlanta) extended the eviction ban (illegally in my opinion), but at least the official wants to pay landlords 100% of back rent.
But who is it that's really paying? If the Federal program only pays 60% then De Kalb taxpayers will foot the rest.
Warning Shot Ignored
Congress and the Biden administration had a clear warning shot from Justice Kavanaugh and did nothing, not even promote the program that was in place.
How Many are Impacted?
I discussed that question ahead of the pack last week in At Least 12 Million Face Eviction as Moratorium Ends.
The wording in the Census discussion I downloaded was a bit confusing. I originally reported "households" but the numbers appear to be total number of people.
Census Department Data
Here is the Census Department Data Feed. I pulled data from the Housing Tables, specifically 1A, 1B, 2A, and 2B.
- Table 1a. Last Month's Payment Status for Owner Occupied Housing Units, by Select Characteristics
- Table 1b. Last Month's Payment Status for Renter Occupied Housing Units, by Select Characteristics
- Table 2a. Confidence in Ability to Make Next Month's Payment for Owner Occupied Housing Units, by Select Characteristics
- Table 2b. Confidence in Ability to Make Next Month's Payment for Renter Occupied Housing Units, by Select Characteristics
I believe we can derive households.
Let's start with 1B: "Household currently caught up on rent payments" specifically the column that says "No" to caught up on rent.
That total is 7,433,895 individuals, not households.
We can derive households by dividing those not current by household size.
Households Not Current in Rent
Note: Size of household at 7 is actually 7 or more. Thus, households not current in line 7 is slightly high as I divided by 7.
Unfortunately, the table is a huge understatement of the problem.
The Census Department reported 50,922,215 people living in rental units with 7,433,895 behind in rent (I total 1 more). Importantly, the bureau also reported 72,166,927 did not report to tenure.
More people did not accurately respond to the survey than those who did.
How many of those who are not current is a mystery.
Those unwilling to admit they are behind is another issue.
There is also an issue of expiring Federal unemployment benefits such that even if people are current, they fear they will not be. And finally, rents are rising fast.
Let's now look at "confidence", table 2B.
Households Not Confident in Ability to Pay Rent
There are 4,562,469 households that fear ability to make rent payments.
If we total no confidence and slight confidence individuals we get 4,859,440 + 7,853,495 = 12,712,935 people fearing eviction.
Once again however, that number is hugely understated because there were 72,166,927 did not report to tenure and only 50,922,215 who did.
Here are my rental charts again, with numbers reflecting individuals, not households.
Rent Payment Status
Confidence in Ability to Pay Rent
12,712,935 people in 4,859,440 households fear eviction. Those numbers are hugely understated. The Census total shown in the chart above is off my total of their numbers by 1.
The House is now in recess with warning shots by the Supreme Court ignored.
Place the Blame
There is a huge amount of blame to spread around but please note that even the Democrat-governed states failed to promote the Federal rent assistance programs.
Through June, only $3 billion of an allocated $47 billion was spent.
Neither the Administration nor the House nor state governors - anywhere - promoted the existing Federal rent assistance programs.
By the way, rental assistance is a budget item. Democrats could easily have passed a better program through reconciliation even without support of Republicans.
There are only 2 people to blame for that failure: Biden and Pelosi.
Start at the Beginning
We need go back and start at the beginning.
Eviction moratoriums are just plain wrong without compensation to the owners.
How would you like it if you rented out a 2-flat and the government came along and told your tenants they did not have to pay rent?
Then you seek to evict but Biden extends the eviction moratorium followed by the CDC three more times. Total it up and you have not been paid rent for 15 months but your bills are due.
This is flat out unconstitutional confiscation of property.
Trump was wrong to declare an unpaid moratorium, Biden was wrong to extend it, the CDC was wrong to extend it three times, and Pelosi remains clueless about what the Supreme Court ruled.
I just got a call from the Census Department. The woman I talked to confirmed that my approach to determining the number of households is reasonable.
She agreed that because 72,166,927 individuals did not report to tenure and only 50,922,215 did report that the numbers of individuals and households in trouble is low.
There is no way to further quantify "how low" because the people who don't respond and those who do are very different sets so one should not extrapolate the numbers.
All we know is approximately 12.7 million people in approximately 4.9 million households fear eviction and those numbers are definitely low.
Original post from Mish Talk