With the 11 month long eviction moratorium set to expire today, many Atlanta residents are left wondering what the repercussions might be. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, approximately 24% of tenants in the state of Georgia are behind on their rent. Georgia actually has the third highest percentage of tenants beind on payments in the nation, ranking behind only Mississippi (29%) and South Carolina (24%).
With the expiration of the moratorium, millions of people could be evicted from their homes. There are many potential implications of mass evictions over the next severall months, including (but of course not limited to) COVID-19 rates with the rise of the Delta variant.
The ban has been particularly difficult for the mom-and-pop landlords who provide approximately 40 percent of the country's rental properties. Many of these individuals are "continuing to pay mortgages, taxes, insurance, and maintain the safety of their properties for tenants with less or, in many cases, no rental income," said one industry group respresentative on Thursday. Many landlords are suffering from the lack of payment, but the most interesting statistic of all though is that just $3 billion of the $45 billion set aside for rental assistance has been utilized.
The truth is that the eviction moratorium and rental assistance program has been horribly mismanaged. A massive variance in state and local distrubution of allocated rental assistance funds points to inefficiences in local and state governments. But that doesn't mean the federal government isn't at least partially to blame as well. However, unfortuantely for both tenants and landlords, very little infrastructure is in place in Atlanta to manage the expiration of the moratorium. With a low percentage of distribution of rental assitance funds, a high percentage of Atlanta tenants behind in rent and the average time required to actually complete an eviction, no one is going to win in this scenario. So, it is unfortunate it has had to come to this. Inadequate support for both tenants and landlords alike will likely result in a tense and probably messy next few months. A more tenable situation could likely have been achieved had groups worked together instead of as direct aversaries.
Only time will tell the implications the expiration of the eviction moratorium will have on the Atlanta housing market. There are many potential issues to watch, from an influx of rental properties solld to foreclosure rate and other potential shifts that could occur as a result.
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