Eviction Moratorium Expired and the House of Representatives Left Town. What now?

Eviction Moratorium Expired and the House of Representatives Left Town. What now?

Eviction Moratorium Expired and the House of Representatives Left Town. What now?

eviction family

Late on the evening of August 3rd, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control announced it was extending its eviction moratorium for people in an area of “substantial and high transmission” of the COVID-19 virus. This was followed up by the astounding statement by President Biden that he suspected any attempt to extend the moratorium would be legally doomed even as his administration celebrated the CDC action. Nevertheless, government attorneys argued this was not an extension but rather a new order that would not be set aside by the courts. 

The Supreme Court recently ruled the original policy illegal, but allowed the original deadline of July 31st to stand to give Congress a chance to act prior to the expiration of the order, if it chose to do so. In keeping with the dysfunction we’ve seen in Congress, no legislation was passed, the moratorium expired, and the House of Representatives left town. 

Setting aside the legal questions surrounding the CDC’s eviction moratorium, many people across the nation are facing eviction now and will be again in 60 days when the moratorium expires. The Household Pulse Survey indicates 52,167 Georgians say they are very likely to be evicted and 155,302 say they are somewhat likely. These renters are overwhelmingly African-American and many of these families have children. Should all or most of these folks be evicted, it would be an unimaginable tragedy.

Despite $46.6 billion in federal emergency rental assistance passed into law last December and March,  relatively little money has made it into the hands of people who need it. According to a press release from the U.S. Treasury, nationally only $1.5 billion was delivered to eligible households in June, which exceeded the amount delivered “for all three previous reporting periods combined.” That’s a paltry 3.2% of the funds distributed in six months.

The situation in Georgia is not much better, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:“As of July 20, only about 6% of the $710 million that Georgia and select local governments received in federal aid had gone to households at risk of eviction or behind on rent.”

 The U.S. Treasury is relying on state and local housing assistance agencies to reach the people in need. According to a count by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, there are 484 state and local programs charged with determining eligibility and dispensing the benefits nationwide.

The Treasury fanned out responsibility to counties and cities with populations over 200,000 plus state governments. Each governmental unit set up their own system for administering the program funds, which can be by the state agencies or county governments themselves, or through public housing authorities or non-profits charitable organizations.

In Georgia, for example, responsibility fell to 13 governmental units: Atlanta City, Augusta-Richmond County Consolidated Government, Chatham County, Cherokee County, Clayton County, Cobb County, DeKalb County, Forsyth County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Hall County, Henry County, and the State Department of Community Affairs. 

These governmental units structured their responses differently, creating new administrative structures or funneling the money through non-profits that were quickly overwhelmed. Many people report complicated paperwork and some landlords have refused to take partial payments on back due rent.

It appears unlikely the situation for tenants will improve much before the extended eviction moratorium expires in 60 days. And we haven’t touched on the millions of small landlords who are behind on mortgage payments, taxes, and other liabilities. Sadly, this situation has the markings of a slow-moving economic and humanitarian disaster.



What can be done? 

For the long term, the solution is clear. The entire fiasco could have been avoided if our vision of a fully integrated eligibility system were in place. Georgia is partially there with the Georgia Gateway that coordinates applications for food stamps, Medical assistance, child care, and two other programs. Rental assistance also needs to be part of the Gateway.

Moving forward, Georgia should continue to add additional safety net programs to its Gateway unified eligibility system. Federal housing programs are not currently part of the system. Adding these programs would allow for a much swifter determination of eligibility and distribution of emergency money in times like these. 

Clearly, governments must speed up the distribution of aid money to tenants and landlords. Governments can also extend the same grace to landlords they are demanding landlords extend to tenants. Additionally, Congress should resist the urge to extend enhanced unemployment benefits and remove other disincentives to work such as the exacerbated benefit cliffs found in the emergency SNAP benefits. The problem of looming evictions will only continue to grow until more people return to work and are able to pay rent on their own. 



Press Release on the U.S. Senate’s Social Services Expansion

Press Release on the U.S. Senate’s Social Services Expansion

Press Release on the U.S. Senate’s Social Services Expansion

PEACHTREE CORNERS—The U.S. Senate approved an entirely partisan reconciliation bill of at least $3.5 trillion that irresponsibly includes the biggest expansion of social services. In his own words, Senate Budget Commit- tee Chairman Bernie Sanders said the budget reconciliation bill “will be the most consequential piece of legislation for working people, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor since FDR and the New Deal of the 1930s.”

The Alliance for Opportunity, a three-state coalition to move people from dependence to the dignity of work and a flourishing life, believes we should learn from our history and expand pathways to success and opportunity with– out dictating a burdensome cradle-to-college path that will cost the American people trillions of dollars.

“When many are struggling from the consequences of the pandemic and government-imposed shutdowns, families want a return to normal with job opportunities so they can achieve their hopes and dreams,” said Kevin Roberts, Texas Public Policy Foundation Chief Executive Officer

We know that the governments’ closure of schools and the lack of affordable childcare has placed a huge burden on caretakers–who are largely women–over the last year. However, we should carefully consider options that pro- vide the freedom of sustainable, affordable options for caretakers rather than a costly system that removes choices for their families. Make no mistake, if the federal government funds one form of childcare, then other options are crowded out. Instead, there should be affordable solutions for parental freedom and a better utilization of existing funds for childcare under TANF and other state workforce programs.

“Despite spending trillions on social service programs, generations of Americans have become trapped in a cycle of government dependency leaving them unable to realize the full extent of the American dream. This expansion of social service programs will be no different. Instead of bankrupting future generations, it’s time to give Americans the opportunity to build a better life for themselves and their families,” said Daniel Erspamer, Chief Executive Officer at Pelican Institute for Public Policy.

“When writing public policy, we must carefully weigh the long term effects those policies might have on the very people we are attempting to help. What works in the short term may not help over the long haul,” said Randy Hicks, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Georgia Center for Opportunity

Americans can’t afford Sen. Bernie Sanders’ unprecedented spending and taxing along with continual borrowing against our future, especially at this critical time in the pandemic recovery. The Alliance for Opportunity urges an approach that puts families and local communities at the center of solutions for childcare, education, and middle class job opportunities, not politicians in D.C. or elsewhere.

Inflation’s Growing Problem: A warning shot for Congress

Inflation’s Growing Problem: A warning shot for Congress

Inflation’s Growing Problem: A warning shot for Congress

poor child in America inflation

The inflation rate in July—as measured by the seasonally-adjusted Consumer Price Index (CPI)—abated somewhat from June’s rate, increasing at 0.5% instead of 0.9%. But don’t cheer too much yet.

This is known by economists as disinflation, not deflation. The rate came down, but prices are still continuing to climb.

Annualized, the monthly inflation rates calculate to 5.8% for July and 11.4% for June. Both rates continue to exceed the Federal Reserve’s target of 2% annual inflation. Of course, as I discussed in this blog, the Fed’s 2% target rate is too high and compromises Congress’s original goal of promoting purchasing power that would benefit everyone.

Prices are Ratcheting Upwards

When the CPI inflation rate is viewed by its increase from the same month of the prior year, the trend is not good. 

Although the increase over the prior year held steady for July, prices were also increasing last year. That is, prices are still 5.3% higher than a year ago when prices were also increasing. The problem is compounding, and prices are ratcheting upwards.

Inflation not a problem?

Perhaps not surprisingly but definitely unfortunately, the Fed’s economists appear to have been caught off guard. When Fed Chairman Jerome Powell testified before Congress last month, he admitted as much as inflation has spiked higher than they anticipated. However, he still maintained that the inflation is based on temporary factors that will abate with time.

Mr. Powell’s comments may have been just for the inflation rate, and he may be overly optimistic. In the meantime, we must brace ourselves for an increase in the price level. 

To think that the price level may come down is probably unrealistic. That has not happened ever since we gave the Fed the responsibility to maintain purchasing power in 1946 that was dumbed down in 1978 to the weaker goal of “reasonable price stability.” Of course, this policy change happened during the complete failure of federal policymakers in both the Fed and Congress when the nation was suffering from double-digit inflation combined with stagnant economic growth.

Why does promoting purchasing power matter? 

Inflation hurts practically everyone. If your wages do not keep up, your purchasing power is eroding. 

This is truest for those in poverty, low-income families, and low-skilled labor. They will slip further behind, making income disparity worse and possibly causing Congress and state governments to spend more on safety-net programs that will only fuel inflation higher when Congress funds the increases with even more debt.

Businesses—who need predictability to make good entrepreneurial decisions—generally will also suffer, slowing down economic activity. 

Workers will have a harder time keeping up with rising prices and will demand higher wages, only fueling inflation further.  

More Cautious Approach to Government Spending is Needed

A likely major cause of the climbing price level is all the governmental debt-based spending to address the pandemic. Further debt-based spending will not ameliorate the problem but exacerbate it. 

Congress needs to exercise more restraint and caution now as it considers the expansive spending bills that appear likely to pass. It is very likely that they are setting up the nation for unpleasant economic times, hurting the poorest among us the worst. The growth in the Consumer Price Index is an omen for Congress to take a step back and trim those bills.


Anti-Poverty Leaders to Biden: Child Allowance Cash Payments Will Not Give Low-Income Americans True Opportunity | DAILY SIGNAL

Anti-Poverty Leaders to Biden: Child Allowance Cash Payments Will Not Give Low-Income Americans True Opportunity | DAILY SIGNAL

In The News

Anti-Poverty Leaders to Biden: Child Allowance Cash Payments Will Not Give Low-Income Americans True Opportunity | DAILY SIGNAL

Policymakers who are concerned about low-income Americans should reject the Biden administration’s plan to make new unconditional cash payments permanent in the form of a child allowance. Policymakers should not support this ill-advised  attempt to expand safety-net benefits without making them conditioned on work or preparation for work.

All congressional leaders should know: this policy could set back the progress this country has made against child poverty and leave low-income Americans behind…

Why Mentoring Matters

Why Mentoring Matters

Why Mentoring Matters

As I write this, I can think of a handful of people who have impacted my life over the years. I consider these individuals to be mentors whether or not the relationship was a formal mentoring one, and I know I wouldn’t be the person I am without their influence. They have helped me by simply listening and cheering me on when I wanted to give up. They became a lasting network of trusted support I can reach out to when I need it.

In return, I value the opportunity to serve as this kind of support for others. It isn’t so much about sharing knowledge in my opinion as it is about walking alongside someone and sharing in their story, and I find that I learn as much from the people I get to mentor as they learn from me. This is particularly satisfying when I get the chance to connect with someone from an unfamiliar culture or background. It is in these situations that the relationship generates more personal growth and satisfaction. I have become a better leader because of these experiences.

Mentees can also benefit from working with mentors in several ways. Having someone who will listen and gently guide without judgement is invaluable for personalities from any background. This is particularly true for individuals who have not experienced strong role models in their past. It can also be a plus for those with a weaker support network to engage with a mentor who is prepared to model good communication skills and can result in the capacity to build their network in a way that impacts work success.

Mentoring can create a framework for individuals to explore options outside of their lived experience and will generally foster a network of career and social support. Having someone who will check in with you on a regular basis and allow you to share your ideas can help reduce anxiety. By connecting on a personal level and finding security and trust there, a person is more likely to become open to new ideas and experiences.

These relationships can also benefit someone with very little professional experience to see their true value. When a person is encouraged and able to see how they can add value to a relationship, they are more likely to stay in the game longer and have a greater level of commitment to whatever they put their hand to.

Ultimately mentoring is about relationships, and this is the key to a good mentor/mentee experience. Each partner benefits because a mentoring partnership flows both ways. Everyone has the opportunity to contribute to the relationship in a meaningful way. There are many programs that incorporate mentoring into their platform of support. BETTER WORK is one of those.


A BETTER life begins with BETTER WORK.

Giving Hope to Others

As a work mentor, you can help someone with more than just creating a resume or practicing for an interview. You can help them:

  • Find resources
  • Develop contacts
  • Explore careers
  • Set goals
  • See their value

If you would like to explore the world of mentoring, I encourage you to find a good program that provides training and will support you throughout your experience. BETTER WORK Columbus is one program that can provide you with the structure needed to make a mentoring impact.

To find out more and mentor with BETTER WORK Columbus, go to BetterWorkColumbus.org and select the “Become a Mentor” link in the menu bar.