Can rent aid avert eviction crisis across the region?
The end of the federal tenant protections by July 31 has raised concerns that thousands of people will be unable to afford their monthly rent and face eviction.
Vermont’s separate eviction-protection program for people who have not paid rent and no-cause evictions is set to expire July 15, 30 days after the expiration of the state of emergency that was imposed in 2020 to cope with the pandemic.
The Vermont State Housing Authority is administering a $110 million program designed to help both tenants and landlords. Qualifying tenants can pay back rent to April 1, 2020, and pay utility bills that include electric, gas, fuel oil, wood and pellets.
In New Hampshire, The state has set aside $220 million to help with outstanding rents, utility payments, and other expenses, but extensive federal rules have slowed the flow of money to those in need. Any New Hampshire tenant at risk of being evicted will be left to find a new home in one of the country’s tightest rental markets, where the pre-pandemic vacancy rate of around 2% was far below the national average.
New York’s state law protecting tenants from eviction is expected to avoid a surge in evictions and homelessness when a federal freeze on most evictions enacted last year expires July 31.
New York has set aside more than $2 billion to help tenants with outstanding rent, utility payments, and other expenses. Last year, it dedicated $100 million from the federal CARES Act to rental relief, but only ended up dispersing $47 million to roughly 18,000 tenants as of June. New York set up its fund in early April but only released applications for tenants on June 1. The state has received at least 110,000 applications so far.
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