Aug 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Goldman Sachs estimates 750K households face eviction after moratorium ends

Demonstrators attend a rally calling for an extension of the state's eviction ban until 2022

Demonstrators attend a rally this month calling for an extension of the New York state's eviction ban until 2022 and the cancellation of rent in New York City. Photo: Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images

A new report from Goldman Sachs released Sunday estimates that about 750,000 households could face eviction later this year unless Congress acts or rental assistance funds are more quickly distributed.

Why it matters: The Supreme Court blocked President Biden's eviction moratorium last week, dealing a major blow to the administration's hopes of preventing vulnerable Americans from losing housing during the pandemic.

The big picture: Roughly 2.5 million to 3.5 million American households are behind on their rent, according to the Goldman report. They owe landlords between $12 billion and $17 billion.

  • Many state-level eviction restrictions are set to expire over the next month, according to the report.
  • Mass evictions will take place unless Congress acts or federal Emergency Rental Assistance funds are distributed more quickly, the report said.

What to watch: According to the report, evictions are likely to be "particularly pronounced in the cities hardest hit" by COVID-19 because they have stronger apartment rental markets.

  • The eviction of 750,000 households could also create a "small drag" on spending and job growth, the report said.
  • The U.S. attorney general is calling on major law firms, law school students and individual lawyers to help fight the evictions, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a briefing Monday.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Felix Salmon: Evictions nationwide remain low compared to pre-pandemic levels of about 1 million per year. Federal Emergency Rental Assistance funding, in theory, could prevent a late-2021 spike in evictions, but it's being distributed very slowly by the states. In practice, it's likely to arrive too late for hundreds of thousands of households.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with Psaki's comment.

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