Housing advocates say President Donald Trump’s freeze on foreclosures and evictions doesn’t go far enough to protect the millions of renters who are worried sick about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
A Pew Research Center study figured there were 43 million renters as of 2017.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said at Saturday’s coronavirus briefing the moratorium would “provide homeowners with some peace of mind during these trying times” and “allow households who have an FHA-insured mortgage to meet the challenges of COVID-19 without fear of losing their homes, and help steady market concerns.”
While hailing the effort, Michael McKee, treasurer of Tenants PAC, a renter advocacy organization, told NBC News the coronavirus outbreak is going to be a “big problem” for renters.
“It’s perfectly appropriate to relieve landlords of their obligation to pay their mortgages in this crisis,” he told the news outlet, but said renters need relief too.
“A lot of renters who are losing their source of income aren’t going to be able to pay the rent,” he told NBC News.
Diane Yentel of the National Low Income Housing Coalition declared “far more is needed to protect the people who are at greatest risk of eviction and homelessness, which are America’s lowest-income renters, who were already struggling to pay the rent and make ends meet — even before coronavirus came to our country.”
According to the news outlet, the group is pushing for a national moratorium on all evictions and all foreclosures for the duration of the crisis, and more federal funding for rent freezes and homeless services providers.
The HUD freeze goes through the end of April.