An Air Force veteran in New York is in despair. She owes $23,000 on properties she owns because her renters haven’t paid. And now she’s living in her car or crashing on friend’s couches because of it.
This is all due to an eviction moratorium that was put in effect during Covid-19 emergency procedures, the New York Post reports.
However, this policy is hurting Brandie LaCasse, who owns multiple properties. She cannot force her tenants to pay the charges – which makes her responsible for footing the bill.
“I’ve cried many nights, like thinking, ‘Where’s my money?’” LaCasse said. “I don’t understand how they can give my private property to somebody to live for free. I bought that property. I fixed it up with my blood, sweat and tears.”
Making her situation even more of a plight, LaCasse is a single parent to a young daughter.
Rent Moratorium Hurting Homeowners
“I invested in these properties, never thinking I wouldn’t have a place to live. I just want my house. That’s it. I just want my house,” she said.
The solution to the problem is also tricky. The Biden administration recently extended the protection for renters, leaving property owners reeling in the wake.
After it was reported that many homeowners saw only half the rent owed in 2020 due to the moratorium, experts have been looking into a solution.
“One thing that’s very clear is we have no housing safety net,” said the report’s co-author Vincent Reina, a housing policy expert and professor at the University of Pennsylvania. “We’re forcing low-income households and owners to essentially bear the cost of that in this current moment. And that’s unfair to both parties.”
For LaCasse, it’s crucial government officials step in to provide answers.
However, Gov. Kathy Hochul addressed at least some of these concerns and said they’re working towards a solution that will protect property owners.
“I am in talks with the Senate Majority Leader and Assembly Speaker to call a special session to address the impending eviction crisis, given the Supreme Court’s decision,” Hochul said in a statement. “Our teams will be working through the weekend to address how best to deliver relief to renters and homeowners in need as quickly as possible.”
This issue also comes at a time when housing rates have skyrocketed. Mortgage rates have increased all over the country, affecting property owners everywhere.
It was recently reported that 30-year fixed mortgage rates jumped from 2.77% to 2.87% – one of the highest spikes seen in recent weeks. A 15-year rate climbed from 2.10% to 2.15%. All these factors make owning properties that much more expensive.
While the rates further indicate the economy is getting better, it’s still a slash to anyone in the market searching for property.