Friday, July 24, 2020

CNBC explains why the U.S. faces an eviction crisis

I began the month by posting John Oliver warns of evictions during the pandemic. Since I usually pair a comedic take on an issue with a serious one, it's time to share CNBC's Why The U.S. Faces An Eviction Crisis, uploaded on Wednesday.

Nearly a third of Americans didn't pay their housing costs in July. Now local, state and federal moratoria on evictions originally put in place during the coronavirus pandemic are expiring. While landlords may be sympathetic to tenants needs, communities face hardships when rent goes unpaid. A movement to cancel rent has been growing as the patchwork of solutions across the country leaves many renters falling through the cracks. Watch the video to find out why Americans are facing an eviction crisis.
Watching this hit me personally in a way that the Last Week Tonight clip did not, as the CNBC video reminded me that I was served an eviction notice 13 years ago. Fortunately, my wife and I had already found another place, so we moved, turned in the keys, and then showed up to court to see the eviction motion dismissed. We were the only tenants we attended.

This clip also reminded me of something I had wondered about, which was that defendants in criminal proceedings have the right to an attorney, but defendants in civil proceedings do not. This is one of the reasons that strategic lawsuits and against public participation (SLAPPs) work. People with resources are going after people that may not, making inequality worse. The same is true with evictions, although my parents were landlords and my mom still is, so I can see their side as well.

Sometimes, bad tenants need to go, but becoming unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic does not make a person a bad tenant, just an unlucky one. This is particularly true when the apartment might remain empty for months because so many people are out of work.

CNBC had more to say about the eviction crisis two weeks ago in Evictions could hit crisis level—Here's how it's impacting real estate trends.

CNBC's Kelly Evans breaks down the threat of evictions amid coronavirus and trends in the housing sector with CNBC's Diana Olick and Ryan Schneider, CEO of Realogy.
While people at the lower end of the income level are facing loss of housing, it looks like more affluent people are taking the opportunity to move into better housing in the suburbs. If one has to shelter in place, then one might find a better place to find shelter.

Calculated Risk shows this trend in both new home sales...

...and existing home sales, both of which are up from last month.

However, it's new home sales that are up over last year and at a post-crash high, as the people that can afford it want the latest and best that they can afford.

If one is looking for an economic silver lining to the pandemic, here it is. That won't make up for the looming eviction crisis.

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