The surge of the Delta variant of COVID-19 could not come at a worse time. A federal moratorium on evictions that’s been in place as a public health measure expires this weekend (July 31) renewing concerns about how to keep people safe in their homes and out of crowded or congregate settings that could facilitate the spread of the virus, such as homeless shelters or on the streets. President Joe Biden has called on Congress to extend the eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which prohibits landlords nationwide from evicting certain tenants who fail to pay rent during the pandemic.
“We know that housing is a critical social determinant of health that is associated with numerous health outcomes,” said Ron Yee, MD, Chief Medical Officer of NACHC. “An eviction can have a profound and destabilizing effect on anyone, but for the health center population, a majority of whom live in poverty and suffer from chronic health conditions, it could have devastating consequences.”
In a statement released today, the White House urged “states and localities, which long ago received Emergency Rental Assistance – including through the American Rescue Plan – to urgently accelerate their efforts to disburse these funds given the imminent ending of the CDC eviction moratorium. With some cities and states demonstrating their ability to release these funds efficiently to tenants and landlords in need, there can be no excuse for any state or locality not to promptly deploy the resources that Congress appropriated to meet this critical need of so many Americans.”
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has published a Rental Assistance Finder to help renters and landlords avoid eviction. It can help them understand the resources available to help navigate various financial hardships related to the pandemic. Health centers can get the word out to their patients with promotional materials (like flyers) and sample social media messages/graphics.