The White House issued a warning that millions of Americans face eviction and potential homelessness in the next few months. In Texas, that number is 300,000.
Renters in Texas have been concerned about the possibility of being evicted since the pandemic began. But when the United States Supreme Court overturned the federal eviction moratorium, such worries quickly turned into reality. Now, over 300,000 people throughout the state of Texas are at risk of getting evicted and potentially becoming homeless. Nationally, the number is 3.6 million. Quoting the White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki:
"The eviction moratoriums issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) saved lives by preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout the pandemic. The Biden Administration is disappointed that the Supreme Court has blocked the most recent CDC eviction moratorium while confirmed cases of the Delta variant are significant across the country. As a result of this ruling, families will face the painful impact of evictions, and communities across the country will face a greater risk of exposure to COVID-19."
The allocation of historic levels of rental aid by Congress was supposed to prevent a crisis. However, the distribution of money has been excruciatingly slow, with The New York Times reporting that 89% of funds haven't been sent to those in need. And according to the Aspen Institute, more than 15 million individuals live in families that owe landlords a total of $20 billion.
Meanwhile, in the lone star state of Texas, approximately 332,000 people are facing eviction, per NBC News. For context, that's six percent of all adult renters in the state. So if everyone doesn't pay rent and gets evicted, it won't take long for the homeless crisis in Texas to get much worse. After all, there are only 27,000 homeless people throughout the state on any given day.
It's also worth mentioning that "an annual count of the homeless population in the Houston area found that about 15% of people surveyed said they were without a fixed address because of the pandemic", according to NBC DFW.
The end of the federal eviction moratorium sparks a turning point in the pandemic for several hundred thousand Texans. A year's worth of evictions could happen in the span of several weeks and thus prompt the biggest housing crisis since the Great Recession in 2008.
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