By Louise Meagher
Imagine, getting kicked out of your own home, that red warning on your door: Eviction Notice, the locks changed, having to live in your car. Every year millions of tenants are evicted from their homes, causing unemployment, struggles for education, financial difficulties, and making it immensely difficult to find a new place to live. Now imagine all this, on top of COVID-19.
Eviction is already tragic by itself, but now with COVID-19, and unemployment skyrocketing, it’s catastrophic for many families. Before the pandemic, about 21 million people could barely pay their rent and were living from paycheck to paycheck. The eviction was the leading cause of homelessness in America.
To help some people affected by unemployment and eviction, the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economics Security Act) was passed by congress. It was then signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27th, 2020, towards the beginning of the lockdown in California. This Act has helped millions of Americans with financial security.
However, there are some problems. It’s been reported that some people who can pay rent, are taking advantage of the fact that they will not get evicted and are choosing not to pay rent. This in turn affects the landlords, because they are losing out on money that they could be getting to help their own financial situation.
Although there are good and bad things about this Act, it does have an expiration date on it, which is also where we run into a huge problem. On December 31, 2020, the CARES Act will expire, and if landlords so choose, they can evict tenants who are not paying rent.
This means that all those tenants who have been struggling to pay their rent but had brief relief, may now be evicted. The bad news is, if someone is evicted, that eviction will follow them, making it less likely to find a new house to rent because many landlords don’t want to rent to someone with a bad track record. On the other hand, this means that tenants who have been skipping out on rent, even though they can still pay, will be kicked out, and the landlord can find someone else who will actually pay them.
With the end of the CARES Act approaching quickly, it will affect many people’s lives, whether it be negative or positive.