With the moratorium on eviction ending, many residents of not just Mississippi, but the country are left unsure of what will happen next.
So why has the states federally funded Rental Assistance for Mississippians Program (RAMP) and the Mississippi Home Corporation, who is in charge or distributing the funds only paid out $10 million out of a total $186 million?
With potential homelessness on the horizon for not just tens of thousands in Mississippi, but many times that across the nation, time is running out to do something.
A federal moratorium on evictions, in place for nearly a year, is now history. The trouble isn’t just for renters, but often the landlords are forgotten in this whole mess. They are in an extremely difficult position.
Even where landlords are patient or charitable, they still have bills to pay. There’s no moratorium on property insurance or property taxes.
What is the right thing to do? Let their past-due tenants stay in the hopes that they may be able to recover the, more than a year in some cases, back rent? Or do they write off their losses and try to find new tenants with the ability to pay?
What is it that is holding the money up?
You guessed it. Bureaucracy.
Even though the Treasury Department has encouraged some flexibility in the application process, many states are sticking to rigid paperwork requirements, instead of allowing tenants to attest to certain circumstances.
No matter what the cause is, something needs to be done and quickly. Not only is the eviction moratorium over, the state is on a deadline to get the money out. If at least 65% of the $180 million it has been allocated is not spent by the end of September, the federal government could start taking the funds back and giving them to states that are doing a better job of shepherding tenants through the process.