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Opinion: The eviction ban should remain in effect long after the pandemic is over

January 22, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 17.6%. 1 min read.

Tenants who do everything right but still fall behind on rent should never be put out on the street. Let this lesson survive the pandemic, write Juliet Brodie and Larisa Bowman.

Juliet Brodie is a professor of law at Stanford Law School and director of its Community Law Clinic, where she represents low-income tenants in eviction cases.

The pandemic, terrible as it is, has given some tenants a reprieve from the usual injustice of eviction.

It took the greatest public health emergency in a century, but the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, followed by Congress, has temporarily prohibited evicting tenants who can't pay rent because of a loss of income or unexpected medical expense.

And when that something does go wrong, tenants can be quickly evicted.

The order applies only to low-income tenants who undertake best efforts to pay at least partial rent, seek available rental assistance, and have no other housing option.

But, pandemic or not, eviction is always a public health crisis.

Why can't tenants always be protected from eviction in these kinds of situations?

Why should eviction ever be the response when tenants can't pay rent due to circumstances beyond their control?

These policies would incentivize landlords to work with their existing tenants instead of using eviction as the easiest way to generate income from a rental unit.

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