Spiking Rents Putting More People at Risk of Eviction

Housing costs across the country are becoming more and more unaffordable for low- and moderate-income households, a trend that began even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

October 26, 2021, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

With rents rising steadily in cities around the country, renters teetering on the edge of eviction are increasingly likely to lose their homes and low-income renters have an increasingly difficult time finding housing. 

"Tenants and advocates have dreaded a wave of evictions that was predicted to follow the end of the federal ban on evictions during the pandemic. Yet in many areas nationwide, eviction filings have increased only moderately since the Supreme Court ruled President Biden’s extension of the eviction moratorium unconstitutional," writes Sophie Kasakove in an article for The New York Times. But these numbers don't reflect the reality of many renters, as they don't capture evictions "that were filed during the pandemic but are only now being executed." Meanwhile, "[r]ents rose 10.3 percent annually in professionally managed apartments in the third quarter of 2021, according to data from RealPage, a real estate data analytics firm, as vacancy rates plunged below 3 percent for the first time in three decades."

In Atlanta, like many other cities, "[t]he current surge in prices has pushed the affordable housing shortage into overdrive, as tenants compete for the few affordable units available, with little, if any, pandemic protection or assistance remaining." Tenant advocates stress that federal rental assistance "was never going to be a long-term solution to a crisis that far predates the pandemic." According to Monica DeLancy, whose organization, We Thrive in Riverside Renters Association, advocates for tenants in Cobb County, "[t]he people that are struggling are still going to be struggling when the money runs out."

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