HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Part of the latest $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill could provide needed rental assistance for families facing eviction from their homes.
Along with $25 billion in rent relief, the bill also extends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eviction ban until the end of January.
“Banning evictions doesn’t really fix the problem. Banning evictions with providing rental assistance fixes the problem,” explains attorney Sarah Taggart.
Sarah Taggart specializes in landlord/tenant law. She says the extension of the eviction ban with rental assistance is a better alternative for both sides— landlords and tenants.
“This is an extension of an eviction ban and a fund of money where tenants who’ve experienced financial difficulties are able to get both back rent and future rent and money towards a utilities,” says Taggart.
The previous bans have been a double edged sword, while they protected families from losing their housing, it really hurt landlords.
“That keeps tenants in their home but that keeps landlords able to pay for their mortgage,” says Taggart.
But there are questions remaining. Will this be enough money and how long it will take to get to those in need?
“There’s no real answer yet on how Alabama is going to distribute this rent relief,” says Taggart. “Is 25 billion enough to make everyone whole? But then at least…we’re having the conversation in the right direction,” she continued.