CAPAC Chair Calls on Biden Administration to Extend Eviction Moratorium

Aug 2, 2021 Issues: Housing

WASHINGTON, DC –  On July 31, an eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) expired, putting millions of Americans at risk of losing their homes. Rep. Judy Chu, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Chair and Rep. Al Green, CAPAC Housing Task Force Chair, issued the following statements:

“The pandemic and the economic pain families are experiencing is temporary. I know that, thanks to the American Rescue Plan and the increased availability of vaccines, this all will end and our recovery will begin. But kicking people out of their homes now causes permanent consequences and is certain to slow our recovery, adding to the risk that the Delta variant is also posing to our recovery,” said CAPAC Chair Chu. “That is why I am so grateful for the CDC’s eviction moratorium which has let millions of people stay in their homes while we contain this virus and reopen the economy. But letting that moratorium expire now threatens to upend all of that progress by putting families on the street, making it harder for them to take care of themselves and find a new job.

“This is particularly a problem in communities of color. In July and August alone, 4.2 million Americans were at risk of losing their homes, and a majority of them were from minority communities. In fact, over a quarter of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander renters are cost burdened, meaning they’re at risk of being evicted. This is in large part because xenophobia and misinformation have led to higher rates of long-term unemployment in AAPI communities. But while AAPIs are disproportionately likely to be impacted by the end of this moratorium, these are also the same workers the country is relying on to get us out of this crisis, with AAPIs disproportionately serving in front line jobs. That is why letting this moratorium expire is not only cruel, it is counterproductive.

“I am grateful for all that President Biden has done to support families through this crisis, including looking into legal avenues to extend the moratorium. But we cannot wait for action. Now that landlords have the green light to put tenants on the street, we must do all we can to help. That means extending the moratorium immediately so that nobody has to fear being kicked out of their home because of a crisis they didn’t cause,” continued Chu. “And we must make sure landlords aren’t unduly burdened either, which is why Congress approved $46.5 billion in funding to help tenants and landlords. That aid must be made available as widely and quickly as possible. We survive this crisis by supporting each other so that our nation can stay on its feet and be ready to rebuild as soon as it is safe to. Needlessly putting families on the street now, while money is available for landlords, would knock the feet out from under us and cause incredible harm for families. Harm that President Biden can and must prevent with a new eviction moratorium today.”

“Eviction is not the beginning of people’s suffering with this pandemic. Before eviction, family members lost jobs; loved ones tested positive and were forced to quarantine and miss work; schools were closed and parents sacrificed and left the workforce; family members succumbed to the virus,” said CAPAC Housing Task Force Chair Green. “Eviction is just one symptom of how this virus has crippled our economy. It is unconscionable for millions of people across our nation to be evicted from their homes when Congress has appropriated more than $40 billion for rent and only $3 billion has been used. The rent must be paid, and until then, the moratorium must continue!”