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How Michigan Can Keep Evictions Low Even After Moratorium Ends

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Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

University of Michigan professor Robert Goodspeed says programs like Michigan’s COVID Emergency Rental Assistance have been just as essential as the eviction moratorium.

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July 31 will mark the end of the eviction moratorium implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It was supposed to end on June 30. But at the very last minute, the CDC extended it one last time.

Hopefully, that program and some of the changes adopted by the court system will allow vulnerable tenants to buy some time, and hopefully avoid this kind of tsunami.” —Robert Goodspeed, University of Michigan.

The moratorium was put in place to prevent homelessness, displacement and overcrowding in apartments and homeless shelters during the pandemic. As the temporary protections conclude, housing experts say the moratorium and other programs such as the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance and other legal help help keep people out of the cycle of poverty and should become permanent programs. 


Listen: Dr. Robert Goodspeed on the eviction moratorium and his recommendations to keep evictions low after the pandemic.


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Dr. Robert Goodspeed is a professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan and recently co-authored the study “Reducing Michigan Evictions: The Pandemic and Beyond.” Goodspeed says it is unlikely that there will be another last-minute extension of the moratorium at the end of the month. 

According to Goodspeed, another program that has had a significant impact is Michigan’s COVID Emergency Rental Assistance program. “I think regardless, assuming the moratorium isn’t extended, hopefully, that program and some of the changes adopted by the court system will allow vulnerable tenants to buy some time, and hopefully avoid this kind of tsunami,” he says. 

Goodspeed believes expanding access to attorneys during eviction court cases is critical to ensure fewer people are displaced. “You certainly have a lot of tenants who have counterclaims, who are being involved in some kind of scam, or you’ll have a landlord who’s not upholding a lease,” he says. The number of eviction cases with attorney representation used to be under 5%, but now it is close 30%, according to Goodspeed.

Web story written by Dan Netter

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