Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) supported her convictions with a sleeping bag Friday night, as she prepared to camp out in front of the United States Capitol to protest the end of the federal eviction moratorium that helped Americans stay in their homes during the COVID-19 crisis.
The moratorium expires today, Saturday, but Bush has stated that he will continue to fight.
The Biden administration has not taken any steps to extend the protection. And, after failing to pass a last-minute moratorium extension on Friday, Democrats skipped town for a seven-week recess without a vote.
“Many of my Democratic colleagues chose to go on vacation early today rather than staying to vote to keep people in their homes,” she tweeted outside the Capitol on Friday night. “I’ll be sleeping outside the Capitol tonight. We’ve still got work to do.”
Many of my Democratic colleagues chose to go on vacation early today rather than staying to vote to keep people in their homes.
I’ll be sleeping outside the Capitol tonight. We’ve still got work to do. pic.twitter.com/9l52lWBM73
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) July 31, 2021
She sent a letter to her colleagues on Friday night, inviting them to join her for the Capitol campout.
Bush, who once lived on the streets, introduced a resolution on Wednesday urging Congress to commit to ending homelessness in America by 2025.
Her proposal, named the Unhoused Bill of Rights, demands that the federal government declare homelessness a public health emergency and invest significantly in the creation of more affordable housing and supportive services for the unhoused.
“The unhoused crisis in our country is a public health emergency, and a moral and policy failure at every level of our government,” said Bush, who is the first Black woman in Congress to represent Missouri. “I know the daily trauma and stress that comes with the perpetual instability of not having a safe place to live.”
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🚨UPDATE: Earlier today, I sent a letter to my colleagues stressing the urgency of extending the eviction moratorium. Many of them failed to meet this moment.
— Congresswoman Cori Bush (@RepCori) July 31, 2021
The end of the moratorium could cause untold pain for a large number of families.
According to a U.S. Census Bureau survey, more than 3.6 million adults reported being less than two months away from eviction as of June, including 2 million households with children.
On Twitter, supporters praised Bush’s protest.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank, a wave of evictions could be on the way, with as many as 11 million people behind on their rent.
According to the CBPP, approximately 16% of U.S. households were behind on their rent, which was more than double the pre-pandemic level.
However, the rent burden is unevenly distributed across the country.
According to CPBB calculations, more than a quarter of renters in some states are behind on payments.
The Southeast has been hit the hardest: according to CBPP calculations, 29 percent of renters in Mississippi and 28 percent in South Carolina were behind in the first week of July.
Remember street address is required for new voter registration.
Addresses have to match address on existing voter rolls to vote.
Homeless people addresses or supporting legal papers like utility bills etc.
Rent moritorium expired at a perfect time for massive voter suppression.
— Palli Davis Holubar #HandMarkedPaperBallots (@palliddh) August 3, 2020
In Georgia, one in every four people is behind on their rent.
“The more renters that you have that are struggling, as a proportion of the population, the more strain it can put on local communities,” said senior research scientist Aaron Dibner-Dunlap, at Surgo Ventures, a public-health nonprofit.
Surgo Ventures identified 250 counties where more than one in every five renters was behind, dubbed “most at risk” by Surgo.
Except for four counties in South Carolina, the list includes roughly half of the counties in Georgia and Mississippi.
We need broad financial aid to go straight to the people to stay home–a state stimulus/cash+food benefits+utilities waved+rent moritorium. It will cost us less in the long run if we get control of this virus NOW & our economy can recover sooner. People need the aid to stay home.
— XSæton (@ton_xs) November 18, 2020
Aside from the federal government’s CDC order, none of the states currently have eviction protections in place.
According to the CBPP, Black renters are more than twice as likely as White renters to be in arrears, while Latino and Asian renters are one-and-a-half times as likely.
Historically, Black renters have experienced the highest rates of eviction.
According to housing advocates, the eviction wave that is expected to begin after the national moratorium’s July 31 deadline will be unevenly distributed across the country.
God forbid you could have just passed a rent/mortgage moritorium & temporary UBI to protect the economy instead of more permanent tax giveaways where a GOP government picks winner & loser industries…
— (((Barabbas))) (@RealBarabbas) December 23, 2020
However, it has been steadily increasing throughout the pandemic.
According to Eric Dunn, director of litigation at the National Housing Law Project, courts in some jurisdictions have allowed eviction cases to proceed even while the federal moratorium was in effect.
Cutting off unemployment benefits for jobs with stagnant wages, letting the rent moritorium expire, and student loan payments restarting in a 4 month period isn't a "bold experiment", its cruelty. NBC's phrasing is disgusting
— Emmanuel (@thebluemaverick) June 13, 2021
The moratorium only prevents physical eviction of a tenant, not the legal eviction process.
That means some landlords “have evictions all teed up and ready to go,” Dunn said. “The landlord already has the eviction order in hand, and just has to wait until the CDC restriction is lifted to have it physically executed.”
REALITY CHECK :
In the American Rescue Plan 25 BILLION dollars is for rent relief
Over 10 MILLION people either have not paid or are behind on their rent for ALMOST A YEAR
DO YOU THINK $2500 WILL HELP THEM ?
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE RENT MORITORIUM EXPIRES ON JUNE 30, 2021 ?
— Devin McRae (@mcrae_devin) April 25, 2021
“You could see people basically being put out on the street the first week of August, because there’s no remaining procedures to go through,” he said.
At the other end of the spectrum, seven states will continue to provide renter protections for at least another month, if not much longer.
What’s the plan for ppl who lose their income during #covod19 . Rent amnesty. Moritorium on evictions. Moritorium on property taxes for ppl renting to ppl who can’t afford their rent?
— Zoë Dodd (@ZoeDodd) March 12, 2020
Renters in New Jersey cannot be evicted until January 2022.
The state supreme court of New Mexico has halted evictions with no end date set. Evictions in California, Minnesota, and Washington state are halted until October, while evictions in Illinois and New York are halted until September.
Eviction protections in two other states, Hawaii and Maryland, are set to expire in mid-August.
Despite over 450 different programs across the country to assist renters in need, only about one-tenth of the financial aid Congress has allocated in rental assistance has reached renters.
Housing advocates have cited the layers of paperwork and other bureaucratic delays in programs as justifications for expanding eviction protections nationwide.