Eviction responds to lack of affordable housing | News, Sports, Jobs
Last month, tenants threatened with eviction were given a break in the form of a month-long extension of the federal moratorium.
The moratorium on evictions has been put in place to prevent individuals and families from accessing emergency housing following COVID-19-related layoffs and closures. Done through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a way to avoid overcrowding (and contagion) at shelters, this has kept landlords from removing tenants who couldn’t pay rent.
Michigan deportations have slowed dramatically – an Associated Press explanation this week found about 1,500 deportation cases filed between March and May last year, up from about 43,000 court cases in the same three month the previous year.
Actual evictions between this year and last fell from 40,905 to 7,230.
It’s hard to know what happens when the moratorium is lifted on Saturday (aside from foreseeable backlogs from the courts), but eviction notices stuck to front doors don’t make anyone feel comfortable – especially given this that there is on the other side.
Low-income renters face a grim housing image.
About 86,000 Michiganders said they could face eviction or foreclosure, according to a Census Bureau Household Pulse survey in June / July.
In the event of an eviction, their options are scarce – in some markets, worse than the already tight pre-COVID days.
The state’s deficit is about 200,000 affordable housing units, according to an analysis by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, reported by Bridge Michigan.
Worse yet, wages are so out of whack compared to rents that people at the bottom of the income scale would have to work 77 hours a week – or two full-time jobs – to afford the average two-person apartment. bedrooms.
Not a single county in Michigan offers fair rents to someone who works full time for minimum wage. And while markets have forced wages above minimum wage for most open positions across Michigan, the inflation we all face has made higher wages more like minimum wage for many.
Being evicted further narrows the options in the potential spot (and its associated rear rent and court costs) results in a rental history.
The owners also have problems. Billions of federal dollars were spent on the problem, a point made by landlords as they struggled to pay their own bills without rental income and which ultimately hit the mark in the plea to end the moratorium on evictions.
The money was impressive – in the summer of 2020, 530 rental assistance programs were launched across the country for at least $ 4.3 billion, AP reports.
Unfortunately, this is where the momentum slowed down or shifted.
In a Center for Public Integrity survey of about 70 state and local 2020 rent assistance recipients, $ 1 in $ 6 of that $ 2.6 billion in money from the coronavirus has been diverted to other expenses related to COVID-19 like protective equipment, law enforcement salaries and small business loans. Some states have taken big bites for administration.
ichigan needs housing, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said this week as she announced a plan to use $ 100 million in federal COVID-19 relief dollars to create 2,000 new affordable rental housing units and increase incentives for development and assistance with rent / security deposit.
This is a good step, but the government infrastructure must adapt to it.
But landlords and tenants navigate an excruciatingly slow bureaucratic turnaround.
In the first $ 2.6 billion of the CARES Act’s coronavirus relief funding – released for rent relief more than a year ago – more than $ 425 million, or 16%, is no more still have not reached eligible tenants and landlords due to slow disbursements, AP reported Thursday.
Housing advocates recommend tenants “communicate” with their owners in the meantime, even as the moratorium is lifted. But for too many people, communication will be a notice on the door, and woefully few options outside of them.
– Traverse City Record-Eagle