Millions of Americans are set to expect mass evictions and cuts to their unemployment checks as a series of developments in the Capitol went underway that not even the president could stop.
In the midst of an economic shock due to the pandemic, many parts of the economy have collapsed prompting high spikes of unemployment and tenants’ inability to pay rent.
The only saving grace seemed to be the government’s federal relief programs, albeit temporary, served to help many Americans get by day by day.
Now, tensions rise in Washington as the White House and Congress are divided on the state of the pandemic aid.
Even with the looming threat of different COVID variants that were discovered by the scientific community, some legislators felt like the pandemic aid must gradually stop as things are “slowly getting back to normal”.
This meant the end of federal relief programs that helped a lot of Americans in terms of rent assistance and other financial aid.
Recently, the Biden administration suffered a loss as a divided Supreme Court ended a national moratorium on evictions in parts of the country ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, removing protections for millions of Americans who have not been able to make rent payments.
The moratorium was intended to last until Oct. 3 and covers counties with “substantial and high levels of community transmission” of the coronavirus. It aimed to give states and cities more time to give rental relief to their constituents.
But then, the moratorium is reportedly suspended. This follows after the Supreme Court found the White House’s eviction moratorium unconstitutional, although housing advocates firmly believe that this decision is inhumane especially in the time of the coronavirus.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the eviction meant “families will face the painful impact of evictions, and communities across the country will face a greater risk of exposure to COVID-19.”
Recommended Read: Extended Unemployment Benefits Ends Next Month. What to do?
However, The National Association of Realtors agrees with the court’s decision, saying “it is correct from both a legal standpoint and a matter of fairness.
It brings to an end an unlawful policy that places financial hardship solely on the shoulders of mom-and-pop housing providers, who provide nearly half of all rental housing in America, and it restores property rights in America.”
Many Americans have notably struggled to obtain federal rental aid from state and local programs that were allocated tens of billions of dollars in past stimulus packages.
Now, they are in even more danger as unemployment benefits will soon be removed.
According to a recent estimate from the Century Foundation, 7.5 million people with the loss of much-needed income as President Biden and some of his congressional allies have not sought to renew these financial checks ahead of their planned expiration. These checks are set to expire on September 6.
With fewer federal protections at their disposal, the financial hardships may only intensify, especially as more dangerous COVID-19 variants threaten to enact even more destruction in communities that are already dealing very badly with the pandemic especially in schools, hospitals, and even in government institutions.