White House Hosts Summit on Eviction Prevention Reform
This week, the White House and Department of Treasury hosted a White House Summit on Building Lasting Eviction Prevention Reform that included Eviction Lab Founder Matthew Desmond, state Supreme Court justices, and national, state, and local leaders.
The summit focused on models of reform at all levels of government, the progress made with the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and how to use the remaining ARP resources, including emergency rental assistance (ERA) and State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.
As of July, approximately 7 million ERA payments have been distributed to renters at risk of eviction, preventing not just evictions but utility shutoffs as well as food and medicine cutbacks. Over 80% of ERA has gone to very low-income renters, and Black communities—who historically have high eviction rates—are seeing the largest reductions. State and local governments are also using Fiscal Recovery Funds to assist people—1.1 million households, as of March—with rent, mortgage, and utility payments.
As a result, since the federal eviction moratorium ended, eviction filings have remained 26% below the historic national average.
“Having created a first-ever national infrastructure for eviction prevention, now is the time,” the White House stated, “to ensure we build on this progress and prevent a return to an eviction system that allowed 3.6 million eviction filings a year, often for small amounts of funds and without any legal representation or eviction diversion options.”
Here are some more highlights of recent progress:
- Since the Biden administration’s push, approximately 180 jurisdictions in 36 states developed or enhanced eviction diversion programs with ERA.
- Three states and 15 cities now offer legislative rights to counsel for tenants facing eviction.
- Since the pandemic started, nearly 60 cities expanded access to counsel for tenants using federal funds.
- Since January 2021, 31 states and 67 localities have passed or implemented more than 154 unique tenant protections.
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