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After a hard time for renters, cities and states pass new protections


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Coronavirus caused unprecedented hardship for renters and left as many as 100,000 people homeless. 40 million peopleThey could lose their homes.

The tenants’ situation quickly became so dire that they had to leave. Long-lasting problems of housing instability in the U.S. were revealed by rapidly rising rents stagnant wagesAdvocates agree.

This led to the next step: action.

In the past two years, many laws have been passed by cities and states that grant tenants more rights.

According to the report, “The Covid pandemic saw a new era in renter protections throughout the U.S.” Kshama SawantA member of the Seattle City Council.

“Facing this mountain of debt and a likely tsunami of evictions, tens of thousands of renters have responded by fighting back – organizing their buildings and uniting with tenants across cities and across the country,” she said.

Pandemic intervention

The public health crisis caused eviction rates to soar to unprecedented levels. Instead, they dropped off.

The reason for this reversal? $45 billion pot of rental assistance allocated by Congress – for perspective, just $1.5 billion was earmarked for renters during the Great Recession – as well as the federal and local moratoriums on evictions, experts say.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcedA nationwide ban on most evictions was implemented in September 2020. This policy, which has been challenged by many, has mostly held. until this past August.

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Many cities and states have insisted on their own restrictions, leaving the U.S. half-way house renters with protections from displacement despite the fact that there is no federal ban on evictions.

New Jersey and New York will continue to have eviction moratoriums until January 2022. Los Angeles and Seattle still have citywide bans.

Meanwhile, since federal rental assistance has been slow to reach peopleOregon, Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Nevada, Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., allows renters temporarily to halt an eviction.

Prior to the pandemic the federal government hadn’t issued any bans on evictions across the country. Governors and courts in localities announced a one- or two-week moratorium after natural disasters, the September 11 terrorist attack and other events.

New era of renters

The pandemic will be outnumbered by other policies that are in the making and which aim to solve deep-rooted renter problems.

Covid was the first to recognize that rent-burdened renters were those who had lost a significant portion of their income. accordingThe Government Accountability Office. Numerous tenants have spent over halfTheir rent earnings are reflected in research.

Vicente SarmientoSanta Ana Mayor, California, stated that the city had lost more than 22,000 residents in the past ten years, due to high housing costs. The population at present is approximately 330,000.

Sarmiento stated that “people are still working there, but can’t afford living here”.

In October, the city passed a bill that limits rent increases to no more then 3% in any 12-month period or 80% of the annual consumer price index changes. If there isn’t inflation over a 12-month period, then rents won’t rise at all.

Sarmiento explained that tenants advocates had worked for many years to support the policy. It went into effect on November 19. Sarmiento said the only thing that made the difference was the suffering caused by the pandemic.

He said, “I witnessed this despair from residents who realized that they could not sustain these increases.”

In the meantime, Saint Paul residents voted this monthA rent control policy, which will also reduce increases in rents, is a better option. 3% a year.

In September, legislators in Seattle passed a billEligibility for landlords to cover the costs of moving tenants who cannot afford to move after rent increases by 10% or more It was designed after a similar one in Portland, OregonThe new law, titled “The Constitution of the United States,” will take effect July 1.

“The new law will become a bulwark against the epidemic of what’s known as ‘economic eviction’ – a landlord pushing a tenant out by increasing rent by outrageous amounts ,” said Sawant, whose office introduced the bill. By nearly 70% in SeattleSince 2010.

She said, “This only shows that the market private has utterly failed the common people’s needs.”

Sawant’s office also introduced legislation that would cap Seattle rent increases. Sawant stated, “We will not stop until we achieve full rent control.”

Due to the Covid pandemic, renter protections have seen an uptake in the U.S.

Kshama Sawant

Member of the Seattle City Council

Rent control is criticized by economists and landlord groups.

According to the report, “These policies impair a housing provider’s ability respond to operational and economic needs. Local communities are hurt by being driven out of existing housing providers and de-incentivizing new housing development.” Greg BrownSenior vice president for government affairs, National Apartment Association.

Sarmiento explained that Santa Ana’s most serious threat is from rising rents.

He said, “It really affects our economic stability.” Rent is a significant expense, as 70% of your income goes to rent. This means that you don’t buy goods or services in the local community. The majority of people don’t shop.

Renters now have access to free legal counsel due to the pandemic.

The housing community has complained for years that few landlords bring a lawyer to their eviction hearings, even though tenants often can’t afford one.

Seven cities, including Baltimore, Denver and Seattle, as well as three states, Washington, Connecticut, and Maryland, passed laws guaranteeing legal representation to renters who are at high risk of being evicted.

“It was an incredible confluence,” stated John PollockCoordinator of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel.