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The US eviction ban is about to end. It can exacerbate the spread of coronaviruses


NEW YORK (Reuters)-Last month, the hospital’s secretary, Ramsambudhan, received even worse news because of a surge in coronavirus in Houston last month. I had six days to vacate her apartment because I didn’t pay the rent.

The entrance to Providence at Champions’ apartment complex with a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is visible on July 22, 2020 in Houston, Texas, USA. Reuters/Adries Latif

The eviction in Texas allowed Boudin to retain the two-bedroom location she shared with her daughter and granddaughter while looking for another job. However, the suspension period ended on May 18. The landlord filed a lawsuit and Boudoin was unable to come up with $ 2,997 to settle interest.

So this month, Boudoin, 46, packed her family into the 2008 Nissan Compact and headed for New Orleans, where she moved with her mother and sister’s family. A total of 9 people will share a packed 3 bedroom house. Bedouin said her mother suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. COPD is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 in cities where cases are increasing at an alarming rate.

“Every minute, we are worried that someone will give it to her,” Bouinin said.

The coronavirus began closing large areas of the US economy in March, leaving millions of Americans unemployed and enforcing state and federal evictions to keep people at home. Now those protections are gone. The moratorium has already expired in 29 states and is likely to expire in other states. On Friday, the federal stay, which protects about one-third of American renters living in federally-backed mortgage buildings, will disappear, unless Congress acts quickly.

28 million people could be banished in the coming months, according to Emily Benfer, a visiting law professor at Wake Forest University, co-founder of the Evacuation Institute at Princeton University, a national research center on evictions there is. That’s almost three times the estimated 10 million Americans who lost their homes in the years following the 2008 mortgage crisis.

Public health and housing experts say such a large-scale migration of landlords is unprecedented in modern history. Evacuation is a second wave of public health crisis because they increase the risk that COVID-19 will spread as new homeless are pushed into shelters or small rooms with relatives in addition to the difficulties associated with losing their homes. They could lead to. ..

Evacuations have been reopened in cities such as Houston, Cincinnati, Columbus, Kansas City, Cleveland, and St. Louis, according to data compiled at the Princeton University Evacuation Institute. There is no single comprehensive source for tracking US evictions nationwide.

In Milwaukee, eviction reports were close to zero after Wisconsin took a 60-day ban on eviction on March 27. However, after the order was lifted on May 26, evictions exceeded pre-pandemic levels. Milwaukee recorded 1,966 evictions seven weeks after the ban expired. This was an 89% increase from the 1,038 notices submitted in the seven weeks leading up to the moratorium, Princeton data shows.

(See below for Milwaukee eviction diagrams:

Dr Nasia Sahdah, MD, MD, MD and MD at the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin, is currently unable to establish a scientific correlation between eviction and the prevalence of COVID-19 and death. I said. For example, the number of cases diagnosed with coronavirus in Milwaukee has increased by 150% due to the termination of the eviction moratorium.

Undoubted among public health professionals, eviction is dangerous during a pandemic. “A key principle in the prevention of pandemics is to have an infrastructure that minimizes human-to-human transmission,” Safder said. “Any activity that destroys its structure…makes a pandemic containment very difficult.”

According to a July 17 survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, landfill evictions by landlords at normal levels were found in 44 cities and counties in the United States where the moratorium expired or where no ban was enacted. Almost back.

According to the study, evacuated tenants “expand the complications due to COVID-19 and have a high risk of complications”. Because precariously detained people cannot evacuate in place and tend to use crowded emergency rooms for primary care.

Diane Yentel, chairman of the Washington, DC-based federation of low-income housing, said sheltering families doubled with relatives and moved to shelters as shelter increased at coronavirus hotspots. Creates the conditions for the wide spread of. America’s first affordable housing policy group.

“In those cases where it is difficult or impossible to keep a social distance, they have an exponential increase in their chances of becoming infected with the coronavirus and spreading,” Yenter said.

The fragile safety net is getting tense. The enhanced $600 weekly unemployment benefit provided by the federal government will disappear next week when the national unemployment rate is 13.3%.

The landlord says a pandemic is also a crisis for them. Evacuation is always a “last resort,” says National Apartment Association CEO Bob Pinnegar, but “the rental housing industry alone cannot bear the financial burden of a pandemic.”

He said almost half of the country’s landlords are mom and pop operators who have invested in rental property for retirement income.

Reliable positive recovery

For weeks, eviction courts throughout the United States were closed due to COVID-19. Currently, minutes are being increased again via teleconference and, in some places, directly through Zoom.

Data from a Houston-based data science company’s January advisor summarizes more than 5,100 evictions in Houston’s Harris County since the virus outstripped the US economy in March.

That’s still about half of the pre-pandemic level. However, given that Reuters’ COVID tracker confirmed Harris County confirmed a 500% increase in confirmed coronavirus cases on May 18 as the Texas eviction ban was lifted, public health advocacy I am worried about the person.

Swapnil Agarwal is the 39-year-old founder of Nitya Capital. Nitya Capital is one of the largest landowners in Texas and is the owner of the Providence of Champions Apartment Homes where Boudoin was evacuated. During the pandemic, the company filed more than 120 eviction notices for Houston lessors. According to the Houston-based Nitya website, $2 billion of real estate assets are managed.

Agarwal said his company had evacuated Budwin because of rent stagnation and disputed, “we realized that we had no intention of paying.” He said Nitya spent a significant amount of time maintaining tenants and provided $4 million in rent assistance to unemployed people.

Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, Maria Smith was notified of eviction on July 1. She lost her job as a delivery clerk at an aircraft parts manufacturer in May. Mr Smith said he hasn’t had a $1,200 federal stimulus test, so he can’t pay his rent and is waiting for unemployment benefits.

Her fate was exacerbated. Last week, 25-year-old Smith was diagnosed with a coronavirus after experiencing chills, body aches, and sore throat. She said she was winding just by walking.

On Thursday she faces a court hearing about eviction. Nick Hohmann, a lawyer from the Milwaukee Legal Aid Society, has agreed to help. He said he currently handles about 25 evictions a week, handling more than twice his normal load.

Slide show (2 images)

After Reuters contacted Smith’s landlord, a limited liability company called LPT 46, Marvin Bynum II, the company’s attorney, said he knew about Smith’s COVID diagnosis. “The landlord wants Mr Smith to recover quickly and is confident that the parties can quickly reach a mutually friendly resolution,” Bynam said.

Mr Hohmann said he would see what would happen on Thursday, but the bigger problem remains.

“Nobody has the authority to stop evictions,” Hohmann said. “I don’t see anyone making decisions about public health. I just see landlords making decisions about their finances.”

Report by Michel Conrin. Edited by Tom Lasseter and Marla Dickerson


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