Living in motels, eviction ban offers no relief as face risk of homelessness

Housing attorneys say people living in U.S. hotels and motels are facing a heightened risk of homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Job losses have made it harder for millions of Americans to make rent. But hotel guests are excluded from a federal moratorium on evictions for people facing financial hardship during the coronavirus outbreak.

Long-term hotel and motel residents in California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey and Virginia have reported being kicked out or threatened with eviction over the past year. In some cases, staff have cut off utilities.

Hotel owners say they have also taken a hit during the pandemic and need paying customers to cover expenses.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention excludes hotels or motels rented to a “temporary guest or seasonal tenant” — terms it leaves local laws to define — from its eviction moratorium in place through March. Some states have stepped up to try to protect motel dwellers.

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Source: Associated Press