Young, Portman introduce Eviction Crisis Act to help vulnerable households

Amid a nationwide eviction crisis that has worsened during the pandemic, U.S. Sens. Todd Young (R-IN) and Rob Portman (R-OH) recently introduced the bipartisan Eviction Crisis Act of 2021 in an effort to help struggling families.

Noting that Indiana is home to three cities with some of the highest eviction rates in the country, Sen. Young said, “this legislation takes a number of important steps to work with and support tenants, landlords, and municipalities to help avoid the process of putting another family on the street.”

The senators proposed the legislation, S. 2182, on June 22 with bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO).

With housing costs far outpacing incomes, roughly 3.7 million eviction cases were filed annually in recent years, Sen. Young’s office said.

Sen. Portman stated how vital stable housing is to getting struggling individuals back on their feet. “After dealing with extraordinary job losses throughout the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that legislation that can help prevent avoidable evictions and reduce homelessness is more important than ever,” the senator said.

The bill aims to improve data and analysis on evictions by creating a national database to track evictions in order to better inform policy decisions. It also would create a Federal Advisory Committee on Eviction research and authorize funding for a study to track evictions and analyze landlord-tenet law amid the varying factors in urban, suburban, and rural areas, according to a summary of the bill.

The measure also is designed to reduce evictions by investing in state and local government programs that expand the use of landlord-tenet community courts, and by increasing the number of social services representatives for tenants. Additionally, if enacted, the bill would establish a new Emergency Assistance Program to provide financial assistance to tenants and would also boost funding for legal services for low-income individuals, the summary said.

A number of national organizations have come out in support of the Eviction Crisis Act, including the National League of Cities, NAACP, the National Education Association, and the National Low Income Housing Coalition, among others.