The pandemic blows. Of course, we have all of our “first world problems” like having to wear a mask, not being able to see our friends, or having to pretend work-from-home hasn’t turned into drink-from-home for you.
And then we have the real problems. The ones that ruin lives.
Like - you lost your job as a home aid worker, but you still have to pay rent - real.
You rely on savings (if you’re lucky) and unemployment insurance to keep up.
You fall behind. Your landlord moves to evict you.
You’ve exhausted your savings and the help from your unemployment insurance (that ran out way back in August).
This shit sucks.
But then, you catch a break. Despite the pandemic trying its best to keep you down, you find some work at a telemarketing agency.
Not only that, but the US government has appropriated $46.55B for pandemic rental assistance.
So now you’ve got a job and your back rent plus your next month is covered thanks to the assistance ($3K).
You’re back on track.
You’ve got the money to settle your payments and you have a clear, demonstrable ability to pay timely rent as evidenced by your new job.
So you go to your landlord to settle your debt and pay for next month’s rent.
All good right?
No! Because your dickhead landlord is refusing the money!
Oh, and you’re still evicted!
That (former) home aid worker is named Christina Kelly, and that’s what happened to her in Omaha, Nebraska.
His response was, ‘It’s too little, too late.’
That’s what’s happening in many cases around the country, too. Landlords are simply using the pandemic to oust what they consider undesirable tenants.
If you have someone who wasn’t upholding their end of the contract…you’re asking the housing provider to sign up for essentially another year of this person being in this unit unable to pay.
AMANDA GILL, FLORIDA APARTMENT ASSOCIATION
Look, I get it. As a landlord, it’s your job to fill the building with tenants who pay timely rent. As the building owner, you have your own financial obligations to meet which are dependent on the income from your investments (i.e. timely rent).
But can we show a little compassion for people like Christina Kelly, who, by no fault of their own, find themselves in this situation of needing assistance in the first place?
The fact is that the federal eviction moratorium doesn’t do anything to stop landlords from shopping around for “more reliable” tenants.
In the minds of landlords, the tenants who lost their jobs during the pandemic have automatically been recategorized as “risky” tenants.
Regardless of whether or not that is true, or based in fact, it is simply human nature. And nature is heightened when dollars and cents are added to the equation.
In any case, this is some bullshit.