Eviction reform can help prevent homelessness and keep families in stable and safe living situations. Senator Michael Bennett of Colorado and Rob Portman of Ohio created a bill known as the Eviction Crisis Act. This bill proposes provisions for government funding for services. Services such as mediation programs, legal assistance, advocacy, and other services will help families facing eviction. Additionally, the bill suggests assisting landlords and tenants to avoid the high cost of eviction. Expanding landlord-tenant community courts will help tenants and landlords. Furthermore, if a tenant wins in court, consumer screening reports will contain no negative information related to the eviction proceedings. Consider these five reasons for eviction reform.
Eviction Impacts Family Stability
Eviction often uproots families from familiar environments. Children find themselves at new schools. Adjusting to a new school can bring stress. Developing new friendships is hard. Learning can become difficult when getting to know new teachers. Not all homeless children have been subject to ridicule by their peers. But some students do face those challenges. Such ridicule can lead to poor academic performance, behavior problems, and in some cases, truancy. The financial stability of each family is in jeopardy with the COVID pandemic. This worldwide crisis has created more than just a health and welfare spark. Click HERE to read my blog about the growing concern in the housing market.
Eviction Can Force Families into Unsafe Living Situations
Evicted families often struggle to find suitable housing. A family may live in a vehicle and park in areas where the vehicle does not stand out; typically, that is in an unsafe neighborhood. Some families in this predicament have to rely on public facilities. Public restrooms become the only option for toileting and personal hygiene. Predators rely on this dangerous choice and will prey on children who go into public restrooms alone. Moreover, emergency shelters are not always equipped for families and their pets. Some facilities can not always screen those who walk in the doors. Therefore, unsavory characters may attempt to scam you. Sometimes situations arise that are out of our control. Can you imagine going from a place of security to a place of open-ended risk of crime, disease, and isolation?
Evicted Families Suffer Financial Burdens
Financial burdens are sure to cause hardships. Excessive late fee charges and court costs add up quickly. Consider a landlord who evicts a family and has no regard for their personal possessions. First, the landlord’s only concern is how fast they can clean the place to re-rent it. Second, a sheriff will post the eviction notice on the front door of the residence. Tenants get served by the sheriff and usually have 24 hours to move. Third, who wants their household goods placed on the front sidewalk or lawn for all to see? Logically, tenants will have difficulties gathering money to rent a truck and move your personal possessions that quickly.
Fourth, friends and family may not be available quickly to help. Fifth, tenants will still have to pay credit cards that purchased items they couldn’t take with them. A no-win situation can create more stress. Why should they continue making payments on something they no longer own to try to save their credit? Sixth, landlords will find themselves without tenants. COVID will prevent many who can afford the rent increases. Logically, landlords will attempt to raise their monthly prices as they will want to make up for lost payments. Credit scores will also be too low for landlords. Past evictions on tenants’ records will concern landlords and prevent them from taking another risky tenant.
Evicted Families Lose Their Support Networks
People develop friendships and social networks. Support networks grow in times of need. Living in neighborhoods for several months or years can build bonds. Parents may provide child care for one another or supervise neighborhood children to ensure they can play outside safely. Families have access to healthcare, childcare centers, and other resources near their homes. When evicted, it can be challenging to find trusted resources. Consequently, the COVID-19 outbreak has brought many families to their knees. There are food banks that are trying to sustain a higher number of people in need than ever before. Support networks tend to dwindle as many tenants and homeowners face the same issues due to COVID.
Evicted Families Can be at Risk for Mental Health Issues
The eviction process is stressful and can lead to depression and other mental health issues. A person can succumb to feelings of failure when faced with adversity. Stress can create a toxic environment where children are at risk for emotional or physical abuse. Children may think that they contributed to the eviction. Children can become victims of mental illness as well. Feelings of helplessness can signal life-threatening conditions. Can you fathom being uprooted so suddenly? Overhearing excessive arguing will surely affect a child. You can not plan for a worldwide epidemic. With the health concerns all around us, panic has set in for many.
In short, reforming the eviction process can work for tenants and property owners. Creating a revolutionary process that will enhance both mental and physical stability will surely benefit the way we live and work. Providing a resolution to this worldwide probability of excessive homelessness will keep our government’s network of support intact. Working through eviction probabilities promotes stability because it prevents families from being uprooted suddenly and subjected to homelessness and unsafe environments. Eviction reform can also stabilize neighborhoods since empty dwellings can attract criminal activity. These are just a few reasons to consider eviction reform before its too late.