Crystal Bui/Charlie Wiese
Updated: January 30, 2021 10:15 AM
Created: January 29, 2021 10:38 PM
According to an analysis of census data from Attorney Lawrence R. McDonough, who works in landlord and tenant law for the National Anti-Eviction Project at Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, Minnesota could be looking at 13,330 evictions if the COVID-19 eviction moratorium were to expire.
According to McDonough's report, the analysis shows that out of 608,418 adult tenants surveyed, 69,988 (11.5%) percent reported they were not caught up on rent payments, and 115,177 (19.7%) percent reported none or slight confidence in their ability to make the next month's payment.
McDonough is concerned about what would happen if those evictions came to pass, "I mean if this household over here gets evicted, then it either congregates with someone else, maybe it's another household or maybe it's a shelter. For the same reason we needed to not get our families together over the holidays, is the same reason why you don't want to be evicting people."
Not only would it potentially increase COVID risk, McDonough argues, but it would also overwhelm legal aid offices and courts.
Because of the risks, he is advocating for landlord-tenant protections, including financial aid, "Landlords are a business just like any business, and if entertainment venues need help, if airlines need help, they should be helped too," McDonough says.
In McDonough's report, If the suspension were to end Jan. 31, it will have been in place for a little more than 9 months. With no other factors present, on February 1, 2121, evictions on hold would amount to:
Minnesota Housing Commissioner Jennifer Ho reassures that when the time comes to lift the moratorium, the Governor's office wants to collaborate with renters, landlords, lawmakers and maybe even courts.
"there is a lot of consensus around the need for a logical off-ramp is in everybody's best interest," Ho says.
She says some of it is up to the state legislature to figure out solutions, but she wants tenants to feel assured that the state will look out for their needs.
"Whether you're a renter, or a landlord, you're a home-owner or you're a bank... we understand the pressure that the pandemic and the economy have put on people in all of those sectors. We are trying to figure out rational solutions so that we don't have a housing crisis in the middle of the pandemic," Ho concludes.
To read the full reported details on "Housing Issues in the Justice Tsunami: Legal Issues Now and Eviction Estimates When Minnesota Reopens" by Lawrence R. McDonough, click here.
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