With the expiration of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eviction moratorium, millions of families are facing homelessness. The economic crisis, coupled with the pandemic and rising rents, has hit working and poor people hard. It was no secret that that this moratorium deadline was coming. President Biden’s statements that nothing can be done are nothing sort of absurd. There is no excuse for putting millions of people in the streets. Freedom Road Socialist Organization adds our voice to those demanding immediate action from Congress and the White House.
The evection ban was put in place in September 2020, as a public health measure that would keep people in their homes and apartments, instead of in shelters were COVID-19 could run rampant. Now, at a moment where the Delta variant of COVID-19 is striking many, government’s plan is to let the landlords evict people, sending them to the streets or shelters. There is nothing right or OK about this.
Every indication is that renters in the Black Belt South will be hit the hardest, due to income inequality and laws that favor landlords. Oppressed nationalities – African Americans, Asian Americans, Chicanos and Latinos, and Native Americans – will be hit much harder by the wave of evictions, as they are much more likely to be renters than are white Americans.
Capitalism is a failed system that show at each and every juncture its inability to meet people’s needs. 600,000 are dead from COVID and there are more every day. Reactionary politicians fronting for big business and a for-profit health care system are the blame. In this country housing is a big business. Low-income housing yields few profits so little of it is built. Government caters to landlords. It is all about making money for those who already have it. As a point of fact, the ownership of rental housing is becoming increasingly concentrated in the hands of large corporations and investment firms. For those out of job and unable to pay rent, landlords and government have a solution – evictions. They are calling calling out the sheriffs for those who will not leave the place they call home, and then dumping their belongings on the street.
The time is now to raise our voices. Biden and Congress have the power to stop this attack on renters. Those who fail to act need to be judged accordingly. We demand a halt to evictions. Now.
Housing is right. Putting a roof over people’s heads should not be a means for big landlords with lots of property to make piles of money. But that is exactly what is. Capitalism – a system that is based on making the highest rate of profit – will never be able to meet people’s housing needs. The big landlords are not even trying. We need socialism to do that. Working people with political power can remake the economy and society, and we can make housing a right that all of us enjoy.