Rising eviction cases, more illegal evictions and lockouts, and judges ignoring or inconsistently applying federal and state law are some of the problems a new survey identifies since the end of the federal eviction moratorium.
The survey, from the National Housing Law Project (NHLP), shows that courts and landlords continue to evict tenants despite receiving rental assistance funds and legal protections for tenants.
The findings show that 66 percent of respondents—consisting of legal aid and civil rights attorneys in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico—reported increasing eviction cases, and 40 percent reported rising cases of landlords lying in court to evict tenants. Approximately 86 percent of respondents reported landlords collecting rental assistance but proceeding with evictions or simply refusing to apply for funds.
NHLP lays out several recommendations, including:
- Reform landlord–tenant law to provide basic due process to tenants.
- Expand tenant access to justice by enacting right to counsel laws.
- Fix rental assistance programs by requiring lease renewals, non-eviction pledges, and stays on cases until funds are disbursed.
- Create eviction diversion programs focused on housing stability for tenants.
- Invest in federal and other affordable housing through the Build Back Better Act.
For more information, visit https://www.nhlp.org/covid/survey.