Due to the eviction moratorium, an Air Force veteran who holds three houses in upstate New York has to live in her car since her tenants have stopped paying rent.
Brandie LaCasse, an Air Force veteran, said that she is owed more than $23,000 in overdue rent, but she can not ask her renters to pay or go due to federal and state eviction moratoriums.
Although at least one of her renters was qualified for rental support, LaCasse has not gotten any help from the government. As a result, she and her little child lived at friends’ houses and out of her car.
“I don’t understand how they can give my private property to somebody to live for free. I bought that property. I fixed it up with my blood, sweat and tears,” said the mother.
“I invested in these properties, never thinking I wouldn’t have a place to live. I just want my house. That’s it. I just want my house,” she went on to say.
The U.S. Treasury Department reported that over 90% of rental support monies have yet to be allocated. LaCasse’s scenario mirrors that of many landlords around the country.
New York has only distributed around 8% of the $2.6 billion federal rental aid to homeowners.
“Ten percent of all landlords collected less than half of their yearly rent in 2020, with smaller landlords (1-5 units) most likely to have tenants deeply behind on rental payments,” reported a study from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.
The percentage of landlords who granted renters rental extensions jumped from 15% in 2019 to 48% in 2020, and the rent-free rate increased from 3% to 21%, said the survey.
The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Virus (COVID-19) pandemic-related eviction ban, which was previously expanded by the Biden administration regardless of the lack of consensus in Congress, was knocked down by the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, Aug. 26.
One of LaCasse’s renters accepted for rental aid, Carla McArthur, expressed sympathy for the owner’s situation. However, she said that she could not pay rent due to the expense of childcare for her children.
According to the Daily Mail, McArthur said, “I feel bad that I have not been able to pay her. We’ve gone from two incomes. I had COVID-19 twice. My kids all have had it once. My husband’s had it once. We’ve been affected by the virus.”
McArthur is concerned that once the embargo is lifted, LaCasse would push her family out, effectively making them homeless.
The ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court has New York Governor Kathy Hochul and other senior elected officials in Albany debating whether to summon legislators back for an extraordinary meeting.
“I am in talks with the Senate Majority Leader and Assembly Speaker to call a special session to address the impending eviction crisis, given the Supreme Court’s decision,” Hochul stated, according to the New York Post.
“Our teams will be working through the weekend to address how best to deliver relief to renters and homeowners in need as quickly as possible,” she went on to say.
Janet L. Yellen, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, stated that the Treasury Department “remains laser-focused” on ensuring that Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) money reaches tenants and homeowners as soon as possible.
“Our bottom line is this: No one should be evicted before they have the chance to apply for rental assistance, and no eviction should move forward until that application has been processed,” Yellen wrote in a letter.
The Biden government is “disappointed” that the Supreme Court stopped the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated on Thursday, Aug. 26.
“In light of the Supreme Court ruling and the continued risk of COVID-19 transmission, President Biden is once again calling on all entities that can prevent evictions—from cities and states to local courts, landlords, Cabinet Agencies—to urgently act to prevent evictions,” said Psaki.