Photo Credit: 400tmax/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images
Last month, the federal eviction ban under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act expired, placing millions of tenants at risk. While President Trump signed an executive order to extend the federal moratorium over the weekend, critics noted that it doesn’t erase the possibility of an eviction epidemic; in a nation where 47.5% of all renting households are rent-burdened, renters were already in dire straits before the pandemic caused millions of people to lose their jobs. Last week, the Aspen Institute estimated that up to 40 million people in the United States are at risk of eviction. Most alarmingly, the Aspen Institute reported that Black and Latinx people make up about 80% of the at-risk population.
Of course, Black tenants were already well aware of the pandemic’s disproportionate burden on them — no scientific study required. “The pandemic will continue to rip through [Black] communities, making it harder to manage daily functions, like paying bills and parenting, along with new responsibilities, like facilitating children’s learning,” Kenzi LA Toy, a Washington, D.C., resident and organizer with a residential tenant group, tells Mic. “All of this weighs heavy on mental health — and health care was already limited before the pandemic in Black communities.”