Healthy Living Blog – The Upcoming COVID-19 Eviction Crisis

Healthy Living Blog – The Upcoming COVID-19 Eviction Crisis

The Upcoming COVID-19 Eviction Crisis 

Rent is still due for renters, who are also called tenants, even if they can’t afford it. This is because of COVID-19 job and income loss or high medical costs. Usually, when tenants don’t pay rent, their landlord can evict them. Because of COVID-19 financial hardships and stay-at-home orders, the federal and state governments have put in eviction moratoriums. This stops tenants from getting evicted right now. But, moratoriums don’t cancel rent payment, which means that tenants will have to pay back months of rent once they end.

  • Eviction moratoriums:
    • Allow tenants to shelter-in-place 
    • Do not give long-term relief to tenants and landlords
    • Will lead to a lot of evictions after moratoriums end

Who is more likely to be evicted? 

  • Renters who are: 
    • Low-income
    • Black and Latinx
    • Undocumented workers
    • Single mothers
    • Young adults

How do evictions affect health

  • People at risk of eviction might experience overall poor health, including anxiety and depression. 
  • Eviction makes it harder to get stable housing. People who have been evicted might have to move to poor quality housing with mold or water leaks. Also, families might have to overcrowd into a 1- or 2-bedroom place. Worse, people might become homeless because of their eviction. 
  • Housing is a social determinant of health. Living in a house with mold can make people sicker. Overcrowding and homelessness can increase people’s risk of getting infected with the coronavirus. Spending a big part of income on rent makes it harder to afford health insurance and get good health care. 

If you are having trouble paying for rent or other basic needs like food and clothing, this flyer lists agencies in Santa Clara County that can support you. 

  • Is there a bigger picture? 
    • This COVID-19 eviction crisis connects to the larger problem of affordable housing. 
    • Eviction moratoriums and rental assistance programs give short-term help — they don’t address the root causes of the lack of affordable housing. 
    • There needs to be an “upstream” approach to improve affordable housing. “Upstream” means to look at the larger factors that are affecting affordable housing, like lack of government funding. 
    • To help make housing less expensive, the local and state governments and nonprofit hospitals can invest in affordable housing projects.

Have questions or curious to learn more? Please reach out to our Health Center and make an appointment to speak with a doctor. AACI provides services in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and many other languages. Call (408) 975-2763 to schedule your appointment today!