The Supreme Court ruled that the Biden administration could not extend the eviction moratorium, saying that only congress could do so.
I have several opinions:
You know, congress should actually do its job rather than permitting the courts to control policy. I understand that congress doesn’t like to go on record sometimes, but that is their job. I would like to see congressional rule changes that would require roll call votes, and would require the publication of how many people in each congressperson’s district would be affected by their decision. Let there be accountability.
The pandemic has cost a lot of low income people their jobs and access to services like in-person schooling and daycare that let them work at all. Throwing them out on the street in the middle of an ongoing pandemic does not seem like a good thing to do.
Landlords are often rent-seeking lowlifes, but often they rely on rental income to feed their own families. There are some complex programs that permit forbearance of mortgage payments, but landlords also need money for food, for maintenance, to pay the super and the electric and the gas and the garbage collection and the water bills. What are they supposed to do? And some, by virtue of earlier thrift, do not have mortgages. All that lost income is lost. Are they supposed to ask for a new mortgage along with “My tenants aren’t paying rent, so I am not going to pay this mortgage either.”?
I don’t think a lot of the unpaid rent during the eviction moratorium is going to be made up. If you are barely making end meet when you have a job, how are you going to catch up on a year’s unpaid rent when you get your job back?
So I think the eviction moratorium will result in a lot of landlord losses, and if that isn’t a government taking, what is? So congress should consider the matter, and if they don’t want to continue the moratorium they should go on record individually. If they do want to continue the moratorium, but don’t want to pay the landlords for lost rent, then they should go on record individually for that too.