As President Joe Biden scrambles to save the federal eviction moratorium, some tenant advocates are expressing frustration that he waited until the 11th hour.
The eviction moratorium is set to expire Saturday, which could leave millions of Americans in danger of being kicked out of their homes. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is among those lashing out at Biden, according to Bloomberg News.
Ocasio-Cortez said the situation could have been avoided with “more forthright leadership from the White House.” Other lawmakers and advocates were also disappointed that Biden waited until Thursday to act after the Supreme Court ruled that the moratorium could not be extended without Congress passing legislation.
On Thursday, Biden urged Congress to extend the ban on evictions past the end of this month. The White House cited the spread of the Delta variant and surge of Covid cases, which Bloomberg News reports had caught the administration off guard.
Not helping matters is the slow rollout of rent relief aid across the country. Only 635,000 households had received any relief by the end of June. The situation is particularly ugly in New York, which hadn’t even rolled out $1 million of its $2.7 billion in rent relief as of last week.
The latest Census Bureau survey revealed that around 7.4 million households in the United States are behind on rent. Almost half of those could be facing eviction over the next two months once the moratorium ends.
[Bloomberg News] — Holden Walter-Warner