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As the struggles for renters continue, at least eight states and more than 20 cities have policies in place to keep families protected from eviction.
Even as the country pulls out of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 15% of adult renters still report being behind, with as many as 28% of African American-led households saying the same. One analysis found that the average renter in arrears owes $3,700. In some areas, though, rental debts top $10,000 per household.
Advocates say these debts won’t disappear until more federal rental assistance reaches households, yet the $45 billion in aid allocated by Congress has been disbursed at a bafflingly slow rate. Less than $13 billion has been spent so far.
The national moratorium on evictions, which had been in place since September 2020, was lifted in August after the Supreme Court rejected the policy as overreaching.
Yet with a number of states and cities setting their own limits on the proceedings, eviction protections remain available to around half of renter households, experts say.
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Most renters in New Jersey and New York can’t be evicted until January. New Mexico has also prohibited renters from being pushed out of their homes, and hasn’t yet specified when the protection will end.
A number of other jurisdictions have limits on evictions tied to the rental assistance process that will last until 2022, according to an analysis by the COVID-19 Eviction Moratoria Team. (Here’s our story on how to apply for the relief.)
The policies vary, but in Connecticut and Virginia, for example, a landlord can’t move to evict a tenant until the landlord has applied for federal aid.
Meanwhile, eviction proceedings are paused for a period of time while a renter’s federal assistance application is pending in Oregon, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota and Washington, D.C. Until June 2023, showing that you’ve applied for rental assistance in Nevada can be considered a defense against eviction.
Many other cities have other protections and advocates recommend that anyone behind on their rent try to learn all of their rights as soon as possible.