FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 29th, 2021
Right to the City Alliance
This weekend the federal eviction moratorium that kept millions of people in our homes in the midst of an historic pandemic will end with barely a whisper. It will also end without any real plan in place for how to keep these same millions of people in our homes. The rent relief budgeted by Congress is both not nearly enough to fit the scale of the problem, and not getting into the hands of renters who need it the most.
Countless cases have been documented where states, counties, and cities have not been able to get this rent relief distributed, have spent it on everything else other than housing (in some cases prisons and police departments), or given to directly to landlords who proceeded to still evict tenants. We are at the brink of an unprecedented eviction, housing, and houselessness crisis like we haven’t seen in decades. Some of the solutions we desperately need are already being moved at the local level. Organizations like Chainbreaker Collective in Santa Fe, New Mexico have managed to ensure rent relief is distributed swiftly and without the mountains of red tape that hold back programs across the country. Chainbreaker Collective did it with the focus of getting rent to the people who are best positioned to use it: Renters. They focused on direct cash assistance and no-strings-attached — making it truly universal and able to get to the people who are systematically left out.
We need the Biden administration to not shirk its responsibility by pretending that they have no power. The moratorium should stand until there is assurance that renters have the necessary resources and funds to stay housed. The White House must do everything in their power to push Congress to pass new legislation to extend the moratorium to prevent the mass displacement of families in communities of color. Especially with the increasing number of COVID cases due to the Delta Variant.
It is time for our federal, state, and local governments to implement the bold housing solutions that are already working — and being led by the organized renters who are most impacted. It is time to invest in protecting renters to stay in our homes, and in community-controlled housing solutions for the long-run.
The Beyond Recovery campaign is initiated by the Homes For All campaign and the Right To The City Alliance. Homes For All is a grassroots people’s movement fighting to win permanent, dignified and affordable homes for all people.