In a release on Monday, the National Housing Conference’s President and CEO David Dworkin said President Trump’s recent executive order on evictions is not enough to forestall an eviction crisis.
The executive order, signed on Saturday, instructed the HUD and Treasury secretaries to provide assistance for renters and homeowners unable to meet their financial housing obligations. However, it does not explicitly extend the eviction moratorium outlined in the CARES Act – instead directing federal departments and agencies to “consider” and “review” ways to keep renters in homes with existing programs and locally governed eviction moratoria.
“The order would do nothing to help Americans pay rent and would place the financial burden on millions of small businesses while making an eviction crisis even more likely later this year,” Dworkin said. “A moratorium alone is a temporary and unfunded mandate that hurts landlords now at the expense of tenants later. If you can’t pay one month’s rent, how on earth can you pay six or 12 months of rent a few months from now?”
The National Low Income Housing Coalition also responded to the memorandum on Sunday in a release that called the order an “empty shell of promise to renters.”
“The President alluded to ‘stopping evictions,’ but the executive order fails to provide any meaningful relief to the millions of renters who are at risk of losing their homes,” the release said. “The executive order also provides no new resources to assist renters. Instead, the moratorium directs HUD and Treasury merely to consider repackaging unspent funding already approved by Congress under the CARES Act.”
As an alternative, the NLIHC called for the administration and Congress to rework a comprehensive deal that includes: a national, uniform moratorium on all evictions for nonpayment of rent, at least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance through the “Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act” and housing vouchers and $11.5 billion in emergency resources to help prevent and respond to outbreaks among people experiencing homelessness.
Following the order on Saturday, the National Association of Realtors President Vince Malta said the organization strongly urges the administration and Congress to come to a swift, bipartisan resolution that protects both renters and housing providers.
“While NAR appreciates and is supportive of White House efforts to ensure struggling Americans can remain in their homes, we are disappointed in the administration’s decision to not tie an eviction moratorium with rental assistance – as they must be,” said Malta.
In May, the NHC, NLIHC and NAR joined several housing organizations in a letter to Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer and Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy in support of the $100 billion rental assistance proposed by the HEROES Act.
A recent analysis of U.S. Census data estimates 30-40 million people in America could be at risk of eviction in the coming months and approximately 12.4% of U.S renters missed payments in the first two weeks of July, according to Zillow.