“I’m screwed”: Americans facing possible eviction after ban ends

Luis Vertentes has three weeks to find a new home after a Rhode Island judge ruled in favor of his landlord, who evicted him. Now the 43-year-old landscaper says he has nowhere to go.

“Right now, I don’t know. I have no plan. I’m screwed,” Vertentes said.

Vertentes is among the estimated 3.6 million renters who say they are likely to be forced from their homes since the federal eviction moratorium expired over the weekend.

After Congress failed to pass legislation to extend the ban, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to do it. But on Monday, the White House said that the agency has been “unable to find legal authority” despite an aggressive attempt.

“The president’s not only kicked the tires, he has double-, triple-, quadruple-checked,” said Gene Sperling, who’s in charge of the administration’s COVID-19 relief plans.

Sperling has called on state and local governments to adopt their own eviction measures like in California and New Jersey. He also called them out for being too slow to distribute nearly $47 billion of federal aid.

“The president is clear, if some states and localities can get this out efficiently and effectively, there’s no reason every state and locality can’t,” Sperling said.

Sperling said he thinks there is excessive cautiousness and conservatism when it comes to why state and local governments have issued the funds so slowly.

He said that right now is not the time to be overly careful because people need money and assistance now.

Missouri Congresswoman Cori Bush, who was once homeless herself, blasted her colleagues and the White House.

“This is not the PTA coming in and taking care of this. These are people who are paid to represent,” Bush said.