Meeting Tenants’ Legal Needs in Looming Eviction Cases Could Cost Billions

August 10, 2020

As Indiana’s moratorium on evictions is set to end in a week, legal aid providers are estimating the national price tag for helping tenants facing the prospect of losing their places to live will top $2.5 billion.

On Capitol Hill, Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Massachusetts, is calling on Congressional leaders to provide $2.5 billion in funding for the LSC and civil legal aid organizations in the next COVID-19 emergency funding package.

“Any additional spending package from Congress must take into account support for legal aid and LSC,” Kennedy wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California. “Without the assistance of counsel, low-income families will continue to suffer long after the immediate health threat from COVID-19 ends. An additional $2.5 billion will go a long way to helping all Americans in this recovery.” 

A federal prohibition against evictions was part of the $2 trillion CARES Act that Congress passed as the pandemic was shuttering the American economy in March. The moratorium expired on July 25 but, according to Politico, Republicans on Capitol Hill are pushing for the eviction protection to be reinstated and for rental assistance to be included in the next economic relief package.

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