There’s not much you can do about a house engulfed in flames, or one that is threatened by a violent hurricane or tornado. In most of these instances the homeowner is at the mercy of nature and all you can do is hope that the damage is not too extensive.
But something can be done about that other homeowner or renter faced with eviction, and that is a moratorium, and that moratorium expired over the weekend.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, as many as 11 million people are behind on rent, and this is a national problem, although as we know so well Black Americans are disproportionately at risk, as they were when the rage of foreclosures swept the nation.
Since last September the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has instituted a ban on evictions, a measure that had been extended several times. But the extensions are no longer in effect with even the Biden administration failing to intercede as well as the House of Representatives.
Not all these lawmakers are heartless. Several of them, most notably Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass). In fact, Bush, who says she has been evicted three times herself, has been camped outside the Capitol.
“Ending human suffering should be our work, but lawmakers, that is our job,” Bush said. “The people voted for us to come here and represent them––every single one of (them), regardless of their economic status, regardless of if they have a home that has four walls or not.”
But for all her sacrifices, nothing was done to keep the moratorium in place, and now renters and homeowners will have to resort to other means of finding shelter or appealing to state bodies.
Evictions vary from state to state, and there are a number of ways to fight the eviction, and we suggest you consult a tenant rights organization before securing an attorney.
While it is exciting to learn that Gov. Cuomo has announced the completion of $31 million mixed-use housing development on Buffalo’s East Side, more expediently is the need for shelter for those facing eviction.
Many of you are old enough to remember when evictions were rampant during the Great Depression and how various political and community organizations came to the rescue. Such relief may be necessary again until we can “woke” our legislators to do their job.