Aug 6, 2021

Eviction Moratorium Extended - A Government Program Mess

President Biden has extended the moratorium on eviction of renters as a result of Covid impact, even though the Supreme Court has declared it unconstitutional.  Apparently, there are billions of dollars that have not been paid out either to renters or landlords because of the bureaucratic morass to get it done.  This particular program is a mess.  First of all, renters who got the money in many cases have just kept it and not paid back rents to landlords.  

Many do not realize that many landlords are Mom and Pop investors that may own one or a few rental homes.  They have to make mortgage payments on those properties, plus pay insurance, property taxes, maintenance etc.  Without rent money coming in, landlords are out of pocket for these monies and or cannot make their payments.  The reality is that landlords should have been able alone to apply for their losses not the tenants because there was no guarantee that tenants living rent free so to speak would pay landlords the monies owed if they were provided government assistance.  That said, local and state governments have failed miserably to get the money out the door either way. 

But this is all part of a bigger problem.  Because the extra $300 a week in federal unemployment insurance does not expire in many states until September, even though there are jobs available, about 10 million across the country, many people have chosen not to go back to work because they are making more money staying home than going to work.  Further, getting a job might require them to pay rent.  The money they are getting in unemployment insurance in addition to living rent free makes not working a better deal for them than going back to work.  This is a classic case of well intentioned government programs gone wrong.  

In all probability, Biden's executive order will be challenged again in court and he will probably loose again.  And, an act of Congress would have been necessary to extend the Eviction Moratorium and the votes were not there to do it because it is bad policy.   All President Biden did was add to the uncertainly and confusion making things worse for landlords already in trouble.