2020-08-03 — yahoo.com
The eviction wave has already started, said Will Parker at The Wall Street Journal. The national moratorium only covered tenants in buildings with federally backed mortgages. States passed their own eviction limits, but some, such as Texas, have already let them expire. In a sign of things to come, attorneys in Houston are seeing "long lines at courthouses, sometimes people standing shoulder to shoulder" awaiting eviction hearings. "Stuck between tenants who can't, or simply won't, pay up and banks that still expect mortgage payments every month," landlords are also feeling the squeeze, said Tim Logan at The Boston Globe. In Massachusetts, a fifth of the landlords say "they don't know how they will pay their bills this year." That will only get worse if the state extends its eviction ban without help for property owners.
"Perhaps this is all starting to sound like a redux of the mid-2000s housing crisis," said Derek Thompson at The Atlantic. "It's not." In many ways, it is the opposite. Back then, "foreclosures soared" and single-family homes stood empty in the suburbs. Now there is an undersupply of suburban housing and a hot market in new construction. The problem today is in the cities, where the pandemic has accelerated a crisis of affordability. "Without income, renters can't pay rent and utilities. Without monthly payments, landlords and other companies can't make mortgages and bond payments." Housing costs in cities have been approaching a crisis for years; thanks to the pandemic, that crisis is here, and "dangerously close to spiraling out of control."
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