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Senator Van Hollen Calls For Federal Eviction Protections

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Sen. Chris Van Hollen joined Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren Wednesday to call for more federal eviction protections. A federal moratorium on evictions ends on Friday, after which courts can resume hearing eviction cases. 

“The Aspen Institute projects that over 330,000 Marylanders are at risk of eviction by the end for this year. That’s a staggering number. And that’s just Maryland,”Van Hollen said at an afternoon press conference. 

He said that 20% of Maryland renters are behind on their rent and that 29% of Maryland renters were unable to make their last rent payment and have little to no confidence they will make their next one. 

 

“Those numbers are much higher for Black and Latino renters,” he said. 

 

Overall, Van Hollen said that about 23 million Americans are now at risk of eviction. 

“We have been working for months to try to avoid this precipice,” Van Hollen said. “The real tragedy here is that it’s 100% avoidable. If we were to take action.” 

 

More than two months ago, Van Hollen and other Senate Democrats co-sponsored legislation calling for a $100 billion rental assistance fund and a yearlong moratorium on evictions. The bill is part of the HEROES Act, which passed in the House of Representatives in May but has not yet passed in the Senate. 

 

Van Hollen criticized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for failing to act on the proposed legislation. 

 

“Here we are, counting down the minutes,” he said. “We should never have been at this point where millions of American families are worried they may end up on the streets.” 

 

Sarah Y. Kim is WYPR’s health and housing reporter. Kim is WYPR's Report for America corps member, and Anthony Brandon Fellow. Kim joined WYPR as a 2020-2021 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. Now in her second year as an RFA corps member, Kim is based in Baltimore City.