Bipartisan legislation introduced in Senate would address eviction crisis

Originally posted on Financial Regulation News.

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced legislation that seeks to reduce the number of evictions in the United States.

The Eviction Crisis Act of 2021 – introduced by U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Rob Portman (R-OH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Todd Young (R-IN) – would address the eviction crisis in several ways.

First, it would create a national database to standardize data and track evictions to better inform policy decisions. It would also establish a Federal Advisory Committee on Eviction Research to make recommendations related to data collection, as well as policies and practices that can prevent evictions or mitigate their consequences. In addition, the bill would authorize funding for a study to track evictions, analyze landlord-tenant law, and assess varying factors in urban, suburban, and rural areas.

It also seeks to curb the incidence of preventable evictions by investing in state and local government programs; expand the use of landlord-tenant community courts; increase the presence of social services representatives for tenants; support increased funding for legal representation for tenants; and improve information on tenant screening reports, among other measures.

The Eviction Crisis Act has been endorsed by the National Low Income Housing Coalition; Opportunity Starts at Home Campaign; National Alliance to End Homelessness; Children’s HealthWatch; NAACP; COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project; National Association of Social Workers; National Education Association; National League of Cities; and the Food Research & Action Center.