COVID-19 Housing Policy: State and Federal Eviction Moratoria and Supportive Measures in the United States During the Pandemic

Emily A. Benfer, Robert Koehler, Alyx Mark, Valerie Nazzaro, Anne Kat Alexander, Peter Hepburn, Danya E. Keene, Matthew Desmond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article provides the first comprehensive description of federal and state housing policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning on March 13, 2020, the federal government, 43 states, the District of Columbia, and five American territories issued eviction moratoria that varied in terms of justification, the stage(s) of eviction frozen, the duration and source of protections, and the eligible population. There were cross-state differences in implementation of the two federal eviction moratoria and in additional renter-supportive measures. Although eviction moratoria were largely justified on public health grounds, protections were lifted or weakened prior to control of the pandemic. Moratoria—especially those that froze the earliest stages of the eviction process—significantly reduced eviction filings. The descriptive and analytic framework detailed here provides researchers and practitioners with the tools to advance, evaluate, and refine renter protection strategies that serve to safeguard communities from housing loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHousing Policy Debate
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • Urban Studies
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Eviction
  • housing
  • moratoria
  • pandemic
  • public health

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