Carson Says Relief for Renters Up to Congress

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – During a visit to Youngstown Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson briefly touched on the national eviction moratorium issued by the CDC in September, which is set to expire Dec. 31.

To avoid eviction, the order requires tenants who have fallen behind on their rent to submit declarations to their landlords explaining their loss of income because of the pandemic and have made efforts to acquire financial assistance, among other conditions.

When asked if the federal government had plans to extend the moratorium or provide financial assistance to renters who have fallen behind on rent, he said the administration has been working with lenders and landlords regarding forbearance, “fully understanding that they can’t forbear forever because they have to survive as well.”

As the end of the eviction moratorium nears, getting assistance to renters “is really going to require some action on behalf of the federal government,” he said.

“That means that the Democrats and the Republicans are going to have to stop arguing with each other and recognize that we need to do something for the people,” Carson continued. “Through no fault of their own, many people who have worked hard all their lives, done all the right things and still find themselves in that position, we have an obligation to help those people and not to play politics with it.”

Last week, President Donald Trump’s administration issued new guidance on evictions, which some housing policy analysts argue rolls back tenant protections. Among the concerns is that the guidance allows landlords to challenge tenant declarations of protection eligibility and immediately begin eviction proceedings.

“Why would a landlord want to start eviction proceedings in October for an eviction that can’t happen until January,” tweeted Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, in response to the guidance. “The answer: to pressure, scare, and intimidate renters into leaving sooner.”

When asked by reporters to respond, Carson said eviction proceedings typically take about a year.

“They take a long period of time and I’m very hopeful that the government will come through with the aid that those people need before that time has expired,” he said.

Carson spoke with reporters after a tour of the Rockford Village EnVision Center Thursday and seeing how the public housing complex was providing aid with education and workforce development.

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