An 11-month eviction moratorium that prevented tens of millions of Americans from losing their homes during the coronavirus-induced economic shutdown expires on July 31, after Congress left Washington for recess without passing a bill to extend it.
Pelosi’s typically Washingtonian answer will do little to assuage the millions of Americans who are behind on their rent. A precise figure is hard to nail down, but Moody’s estimates that six million tenants are in arrears, while more than 3.5 million people told the US Census Bureau earlier in July that they face eviction within the next two months. As of Saturday, they are no longer protected from being turfed out onto the streets.
The moratorium also applied to homeowners behind on their mortgages and facing foreclosure – two million of them, to be precise, according to figures from Harvard University.
Eight million homes may soon be vacant, and some of America’s largest corporate landlords are likely waiting to snap them up. Staggeringly wealthy pension funds such as BlackRock and Blackstone have spent the pandemic buying up homes, often at well over the market value, with a view to renting them out to the same Americans now priced out of the market.