If you believe homelessness is a problem in your city now, imagine what it will be like after the eviction moratorium ends. If you are someone who complains about how awful it is to have homeless people camping in your neighborhood or city, understand it is about to become much, much, much worse as landlords demand back rent from people made jobless by the pandemic for over a year, people who are barely able to feed and clothe themselves and their families.
There is a simple, common sense solution.
In 2008-2009, We the People of the United States of America bailed out all of the large banks and lenders in this country. We gave them… GAVE them… trillions of dollars so they wouldn’t go under. The money came from our hard-earned paychecks. Some banks and lenders used that money to pay their executives and shareholders, thus starting the spiraling disaster of homelessness by foreclosing on millions of homeowners the money was intended to protect. As we approach the end of the eviction moratoriums, it’s time for those banks to pay us back.
Everyone with a mortgage must be given the option to skip up to one year of payments and extend their mortgage one year without penalty or interest. Any mortgagor who owns rental property and accepts this option must be required to completely forgive their renters rent payments for up to one year.
This simple act would bring stability to the economy and allow millions of people to stay in their homes. Yes, it would negatively impact bank shareholders, but they have benefited the most over the past decade, fueled by the infusion from us, the taxpayers. By extending the mortgage, the banks still get their money, just a bit later, homeowners and landlords have time to re-establish their post-pandemic financial footing without pressuring renters, and renters have the opportunity to catch their financial breath without being pressured by homeowners. Most of all, the true economy, the one fueled by purchase of clothing, food and everyday necessities, the one keeping small businesses alive, will have time to stabilize. Otherwise our country’s economy will continue to drain resources from those at the bottom until the top-heavy weight becomes an inversion and causes it all to collapse.
There is only one reason this process wouldn’t work: greed combined with political cowardice. Greed of bankers and anyone who believes the economy is only defined by corporate success; cowardice of politicians too lazy or feckless to understand how the economy actually works.
No excuse is acceptable. The crisis can be averted. No, it isn’t easy, but it will save millions of lives.
If you don’t like this solution, post a better one. We can, MUST, do better.
Licensed under Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND
Welcome! I am an essayist, poet, and facilitator, passionate about social justice and integrity, who lives and works in the Pacific Northwest. These observations are based on a lifetime working in the private and non-profit sectors, in a variety of organizational development capacities.