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The Coming Housing Crisis Is Already Here

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Millions of renters and homeowners could face evictions and foreclosure as many have trouble paying their bills in the recession.
Millions of renters and homeowners could face evictions and foreclosure as many have trouble paying their bills in the recession. With temporary job losses turning permanent and the unemployment rate still at double digit rates, many families do not earn enough to make ends meet. They often rely on government assistance, but that government help in all forms – from added unemployment insurance checks to evictionand mortgage moratoriums — is starting to fade. Families could then quickly lose the roofs over their heads.
The recession brought massive job losses and record high unemployment with it. Families quickly fell behind in paying their bills, especially rents and mortgage payments, as they lost jobs and incomes. Rent and mortgage payments are among the largest and most consequential monthly payments for most families. If they fall further behind on those payments, they can lose their apartments or houses to evictions and foreclosures. Losing one’s home can further exacerbate other financial pressure, mainly because it becomes costlier to find a new place to live, and leave many families homeless or reliant on family and friends.
The federal government provided assistance to struggling families early on in the pandemic. These included moratoriums on rent and mortgage payments for federally backed properties as well as moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures. In addition, Congress passed the CARES Act that included stimulus payments, whereby adults could get up to $1,200 plus $500 for each child. The legislation added more financial support for struggling families after Congress increased the amount of unemployment insurance benefits for a larger number of people than would have otherwise received such benefits in March. Renter and homeowner protections coupled with added income support allowed a lot of people to stay in their homes that otherwise would have been out on the street.
Yet much of this government support is gradually disappearing.

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