24M Americans fear they won’t be able to pay rent

Washington DC

Debate over how much extra unemployment benefits should be offered remains sticking point

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Sara Gard said she relied on the extra $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits to pay for her family’s housing, food and medical insurance. Now, that benefit has expired.

“In April I was furloughed a long with most of my colleagues,” Gard said. “We have to fully rethink the way that we have budgeted our lives and it puts a lot of things on the table as things that we may lose because we can’t afford them.”

As millions of Americans remain unemployed, the US could be headed for a housing crisis. According to a US Census Bureau survey, nearly 24 million Americans fear they will be unable to pay their rent in the coming weeks.

The federal eviction moratorium, which also expired in July, only covered about one-third of renters according to an analysis by the Urban Institute. A patchwork of state and local eviction moratoriums may cover other renters, but some of those will also expire soon.

“We are asking Democrats to work with us to find a solution that will temporarily stop evictions,” President Trump said.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said expanding unemployment benefits would provide more widespread relief.

“We can prevent Americans from being kicked out of their apartments for a few months,” Schumer said. “But if they can’t pay the rent, they’ll be right back at square one when the moratorium expires.”

The debate over how much — if any — extra unemployment benefits should be offered remains the biggest sticking point in the stalled negotiations for a new relief package.”

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