Researchers find link between expiring eviction moratoriums, COVID-19 case rates
Expiring eviction moratoriums may have contributed to a rise in COVID-19 case rates and mortality rates in several states in 2020, according to a recent UCLA study.
Many states implemented eviction moratoriums to protect renters during the pandemic, including California in March 2020. The purpose was to put a stop to forcing people out of their homes and shut down the legal processes behind eviction, especially during times of crisis, said Michael Lens, the associate faculty director of the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies.
Forty-four states had active eviction moratoriums between March and September 2020, according to the study published July 26. However, 27 of those states’ moratoriums expired in the same period, which was associated with an steady increase in new cases and deaths due to COVID-19 weeks later.
According to the study, states that lifted their moratoriums had, on average, approximately double the rate of new cases and five times the death rate months later, compared to states that did not lift their moratoriums.