Trump CDC takes over housing

In another step towards a highly centralized fascistic economy, the CDC has claimed authority over every residential rental agreement in the United States.

This will destroy faith in contracts across the entire society. The people will continue to believe that every inconvenience should be dispatched for them by executive whim.

It is unclear where Trump believes he gets this authority. It is an opaque political move to buy votes. Similar Cares Act measures were questionable in legality, but this is so far beyond democratic norms that it boggles the mind. This is an executive intrusion unseen in peacetime that will have a disastrous impact on the housing supply of the United States.

Central planning such as this, rolling lockdowns, and possibly near-future wage and price controls are going to do a number on this society.

And that checks off “3rd Amendment”. Trump has now violated each of the Bill of Rights.

Not to worry. When Donnie Jr. is in charge of the central planning committee for wheat production, the 5 year plan is going to be terrific!

And Jared is going to be great as the oligarch in charge of who is allowed to set up a new business.

I don’t disagree with the notion that people should have housing security, especially when they are out of work through no fault of their own.

However, this is just about the worst way to go about it.

I’m assuming everything that low-income housing advocate said was true for this:

I think the context for this is stupid but I don’t think this a stupid move in a vacuum.

I don’t think this is going to fundamentally change how people view rent contracts forever (and just for full disclosure I’m neither a renter nor a landlord). This is obviously a move tailored to the specific emergency going on right now. I think a lot of emergency powers are way too broad and lead to ridiculous abuses but it’s hard to see this one having that effect.

It’s a really sad state of affairs that Trump and the GOP have fucked up the basic functioning of our government so bad that they’re unable to pass a relief bill that would make this less necessary, but given that they’ve put all of us in this spot, a moratorium on evictions might be necessary.

It would have been great to have a competent government that mitigated the effects of the pandemic earlier so the economy could be more open now, and failing that could actually pass a relief bill without using it to line the pockets of cronies, but given that we’ve already failed those tests this might be the best of bad options.

A much better way to handle this would be to just give everyone 2-4 grand a month or so until the emergency is over. Then everyone (or almost everyone) can pay rent, landlords can pay mortgage, less incentive to take health risks to earn money, etc.

The most entertaining thing to me is that for most of his career Trump was a landlord. The idea that he’s doing this now is not exactly true-to-form for a greedy landlord.

OTOH, it makes a certain zany anti-sense as we’ve come to expect from this loser.

A more chess-playing understanding is he’s essentially declaring war on the medium-scale businessmen & investors. IOW, his constituents are either Joe Lunchbucket who he panders to for votes by dangling trivial little gifts with big hidden strings, or they’re the multi-billions level of tycoon.

The folks between those extremes are the designated losers. Many of whom consider themselves the natural constituency of the R party: the mass affluent and the petit bourgeoise on up through the 7-figure fat-ish cats.

Said another way, soon there’ll be oligarchs and serfs.

Hmmm. I wonder which country is supplying the playbook for this?

From a 1944 provision of the US Code regarding provisions to control communicable diseases. I’m no lawyer, so I make no statement about its legality in this instance, but it’s not completely out of left field.

God this shit is depressing as hell:

I have to disagree with virtually all of the above posts. This is not an inherently political idea and I think a lot of this is a kneejerk “Trump did it, therefore it’s bad” position. Even the president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Diane Yentel, is quoted in the article as supporting the basic concept, calling it “essential”. There are other things that should be done to provide more relief to unemployed people, but this shouldn’t be disregarded.

It’s also not a complete bar to all evictions under all circumstances. It applies to individuals below a certain, albeit high, income threshold, and more importantly, when the reason for eviction is an inability to pay rent due to loss of income. Someone facing eviction for violating other lease conditions or simply refusing to pay is not covered by this. Many municipalities have already enacted similar eviction moratoriums, such as Philadelphia.

The 3rd Amendment has no application here, what with it specifically referring to soldiers.

Having an eviction moratorium is not a bad idea. But it seems like a bad idea to achieve this by arrogating housing policy to the Centers for Disease Control.

That is a fair point and comes down to a workaround of both the originally intended but now IMO largely obsolete limits on federal power and Republican-instigated legislative gridlock. But this is also not an abstract point of order, in that the theoretically optimal procedure needs to be balanced against the realities involved in taking timely action to prevent an imminent harm.

This seems to be a bit of hyperbole. No contracts have been voided. People are still on the hook for their obligations. The government is merely delaying things a bit in a crisis.

I’m not sure what the landlords would expect to gain anyway…in this crisis there are not a lot of would-be renters lining up for their property.

It’s also incredibly disingenuous to cast facing an imminent loss of housing due to no fault of one’s own as an inconvenience and a desire to not be homeless a mere whim.

We also need to remember that the Senate is totally at fault for doing nothing whatsoever to pass a bill already passed by the House. H.R.7301 - Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020.

It’s almost mesmerizing that Trump has to take action to save his hide because his toady Senate is too dysfunctional to do its own job.

If the agreement is such that the landlord can evict the tenant for nonpayment, yes the agreement has been fundamentally compromised. “Voided” if you like.

Tenants and landlords are already coming to agreement based on the obvious economic conditions they are going through. Just because you don’t see the point in leaving their agreement alone, doesn’t mean that every one of them should be cast aside.

No. No the whim is the opaque politically opportunistic measure taken by Trump.

They are? Do you have some evidence that this is happening on a large scale?

“Salim Furth, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, said that landlords don’t want vacancies so they’ve largely been working things out with tenants during the first few months of the pandemic.“

Evictions Have Been below Normal Rates since March

Eviction Lab has tracked weekly eviction filings in 17 cities, 9 of which still have local eviction moratoria. As figure 2 shows, July eviction filing rates were far below pre-COVID norms in 16 of the 17 cities. Eviction rates have not risen enough to “make up for” the months of near-zero evictions.

Likewise, statewide data for South Carolina show that evictions have remained at about half the 2019 level since the state’s moratorium was lifted on May 15.”

“rent payment in 2020 is only slightly below rent payment in 2019. “ (see graph in article below, very telling)

Some other points to consider for those with both feet on the ground.

“ Given the promise of living rent-free, some tenants, even if they could afford the rent, might take advantage and walk away when the year was out.”

“ Moratoria can also paradoxically cause more evictions because many landlords rely on rental income to make their mortgage and utility payments. Lack of income leads to foreclosure, which leads to the tenants—even paying tenants—getting evicted. One survey found that a quarter of involuntary renter moves in Milwaukee resulted from landlord foreclosures. The bank doesn’t want to be your landlord. An eviction moratorium could backfire by causing foreclosure-induced evictions.”


Do we have enough information yet to determine which segment of the population this latest stunt (sorry, that’s what anything at all the current administration does strikes me as at this point) will hurt the most?