This issue has been lurking in the background for months. Where I live, there are almost no homes on the market for rent. The inventory of the number of homes for sale is at record lows, and when combined with historically low home mortgage rates, the prices at which homes are selling have gone through the roof.
There are no homes for rent because landlords have been unable to evict tenants for non-payment of rent for a year or more, depending on where you live. The federal government — based on dubious legal authority — imposed an eviction “moratorium” during the pandemic, allowing renters to stop paying their rent safe in the knowledge that their landlords couldn’t do anything about it.
There are fewer houses for sale on the market because homeowners in financial trouble have not had to sell their houses in order to eliminate their mortgage debt.
That is all about to end. As reported in this story by CBS News, as many as 8 million people face eviction by their landlords or foreclosure by their banks and could lose their place to live beginning next month.
Even as the nation rebounds from the coronavirus pandemic, more than 2 million homeowners are behind on their mortgages and risk being forced out of their homes in a matter of weeks, a new Harvard University housing report warns.
Separately, millions more renters are “on the brink of eviction,” the Harvard researchers found. Census data show that 6 million households are still behind on rent and could face eviction at the end of June, when federal eviction protections expire.
The Center for Disease Control order halting some evictions, and federal liminations on foreclosures for federally-backed housing, both expire on June 30.
Banks have been legally blocked from foreclosing on mortgages for non-payment. Where I live, the state courts that handle mortgage foreclosure cases simply closed the doors to new filings, and have not scheduled any hearings on filings that were pending when the moratorium was imposed.
Federal District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich in the District of Columbia ruled last month that the renter eviction moratorium was illegal, but stayed the effect of her order while the Biden Administration appealed her ruling.
This unfortunate reality only reveals that most of the economic cost of shutting down
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