Cynthia Griffith Tells It Like It Is!

by | Feb 18, 2021 | Formation, Homelessness, Reflections

245,999 Evictions Have Been Filed During the Pandemic, Despite the Moratorium (and that data is only from 5 states)

Let That Sink In.

I can not say it better than Cynthia Griffith. I offer these excerpts from her latest report for Invisible People…245,999 Evictions Have Been Filed During the Pandemic, Despite the Moratorium

This is an American travesty.

It’s important to note that this number reflects only five of the states in our nation. It is meant to measure trends in eviction spikes. It also does not account for self-help evictions, an illegal tactic most major real estate management companies are resorting to in order to curtail laws they think they are above.

Eviction: A Door that Opens to the Path of Homelessness
Now, in the middle of international chaos, American renters are more at the mercy of big real estate than ever before. This is because, despite measures such as moratoriums and rent relief, landlords are still moving to evict.

From the outside, an eviction looks like a locked door that closes unexpectedly. In reality, eviction is an open door that leads down a desolate pathway into homelessness. This is because eviction isn’t just the result of poverty. It is also a cause of poverty. Circular in nature, eviction leaves renters in a state of destitution. Once the ink on an eviction notice is dry, a recipient renter is likely to experience one or more of the following:

  • Instability
  • Job loss as a result of that instability
  • Inability to continue higher levels of education

If an eviction gives way to homelessness, that same individual is likely to lose:

  • Their life (as a result of COVID-19 or any other communicable illness)
  • Their loved ones (as families who go the shelter route are likely to be separated)
  • Identifying documents
  • Their will to live a happy life
  • Worldly possessions, which might carry monetary or sentimental value
  • Their self-respect

Evictions Keep Happening Behind Bureaucratic Red Tape that Makes Them Difficult to Track
The Eviction Lab is a dedicated team of researchers and writers led by renowned author Matthew Desmond, seeking to make eviction data more accessible to the general public. With that mission in mind, they have posted an eviction tracking system, a virtual tally that’s perpetually increasing at a time when it should really be on pause.

Today, we face a looming crisis wherein tens of millions of renters are vulnerable to eviction and its inevitable predecessor homelessness.

Even with the knowledge of this looming crisis, the US government still lacks an official eviction tracking system. State governments have failed to collect necessary eviction data. Without this data projected on a national level, everyday Americans are kept in the dark about how serious and impactful eviction is in the United States.

Eviction takes its toll, not just on the renters who are victimized by it, but also on entire communities. Eviction drains community resources, placing a burden on:

  • School system
  • Community development
  • Social services sector and much more

…( There will be an) estimated 2,460,000 filed evictions nationwide. One can only imagine the chaos that would come about if 2.5 million people suddenly became homeless as the result of big real estate’s unfathomable greed.

In general, homeless people are 3-4x more likely to die prematurely than their housed counterparts. Many housing advocates claim that eviction during the pandemic is akin to murder. After much research, I concur with that statement.

An 18-page study released in November of 2020, estimated that eviction was directly responsible for 433,700 COVID-positive incidents and 10,700 COVID-related fatalities.

Contact your representatives and tell them that you believe landlords who violate eviction moratoriums and attempt to evict during the pandemic should be charged with violent crimes.

Cynthia Griffith is a freelance writer dedicated to social justice and environmental issues.