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USA News

Churches, faith-based organizations prepare for July 31st end to eviction moratorium

by Premier Journalist

Several religious groups have begun to express concerns about the slowly approaching eviction moratorium that is helping keep many Americans housed.

In September 2020, the CDC put a moratorium upon any potential evictions, thus barring any landlords from evicting residents from apartments over the inability to pay proper wages. The moratorium was eventually extended under the Trump and Biden administrations, although another extension is not anticipated. Democrats have attempted to extend the moratorium, but legislation has failed to pass in Congress.

If that moratorium expires, housing advocates believe that it will lead to a significant increase in homeless. The current estimates predict that 6.4 million households are currently behind on their rent. The moratorium will end on July 31st, 2021. Some states and cities may choose to extend their moratoriums. However, it will be dependent on a case-by-case basis, notably if local officials partner with non-profits to answer the problem. And one answer to these crises is churches. 

Faith groups are preparing for the end of the moratorium by providing resources for those in need. For example, Rev. John Cleghorn of Charlotte, NC, told Sojourners that while evictions are not a new issue, COVID "only exacerbated an already dire housing crisis in Mecklenburg, Charlotte's county, which had some of the highest eviction rates in the country before the pandemic." Cleghorn, who is part of Faith in Housing (a workshop helping churches and congregations combat the housing crisis) is working on hosting a local shelter for women while also providing a permanent solution for those dealing with homelessness in his local area

In Seattle, Catholic Housing Services of Western Washington told Sojourners that they already see significant surges in housing, especially as people are racing to get on waitlists in preparation for housing shortages. 

"When the eviction moratorium ends at the end of the week, millions of Americans across the nation will face increased housing insecurity and related outcomes (e.g., food insecurity, health impacts), which are only made worse by a global pandemic that persists" Chris Vincent, vice president of government relations and advocacy at Habitat for Humanity told Sojourners. "Fundamental relief is needed to effectively stave off the threat of housing instability, now and in the future."

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