Many people who lost their jobs because of Covid are not able to pay their rent until they return to work. What should we do about it? Most landlords will work out an arrangement for deferred rent with tenants that are otherwise trustworthy. Most overdue debts are handled this way. But a case can be made, and has been made, for temporary government assist. Where you think the money should come from to bridge the income gap tells a lot about your general attitudes toward our market economy. When renters lose their incomes and stop paying their rent, they are passing on part of that loss to their landlords.
But landlords are people with financial needs as well. As noted by George Will: “As of June, landlords were owed $27.5 billion in unpaid rents. Almost half of landlords, who include many minorities, own only one or two rental units. They continue paying mortgages, property taxes, insurance and utilities while the CDC requires them to house nonpaying people or risk jail. Landlords can plausibly argue that the moratorium is a “taking.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/08/04/eviction-moratorium-exacerbated-americas-institutional-disarray/
The income supplement to out of work renters can come from the general taxpayers (us) or from landlords. Investing in real estate is one of the primary ways in which lower middle-income families build wealth and move up the ladder. They should not be the ones to bear the cost of this assistance. The CARES Act and subsequent programs was meant to share this burden more fairly, but its disbursements seem to have been slow. The eviction moratorium, in addition to being illegal, is immoral.