A bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives that would prohibit evictions that were related to the COVID-19 pandemic from appearing on those individuals’ credit reports.
H.R. 6882, the Keeping Evictions Off Credit Reports Act was introduced by Rep. Steve Cohen [D-Tenn.]. Rep. Cohen claims that 40 million individuals have faced the threat of eviction during the pandemic. Bans on evictions were put in place during the pandemic, but many of those have since expired or were ruled unconstitutional.
A similar bill was introduced at the start of the pandemic, but never advanced out of committee. Rep. Cohen has higher hopes for his bill.
“American families have felt the negative economic impact of the pandemic for two years and should not be denied housing because of it,” he said in a statement. “Many landlords across the country perform credit checks on prospective tenants to help determine if they are eligible to rent or lease. If there is an eviction on that report, it often prevents prospective tenants from being approved for housing no matter the circumstance. My bill addresses this reality and prevents some of the negative consequences of a prior eviction.”
Details of the bill — like determining how an individual’s eviction was tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, for example — have not yet been made available.
About 600,000 Americans experienced at least one night of homelessness in 2020, according to data compiled by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Rep. Cohen is hoping his bill helps prevent individuals from “the cycle of poverty.” Renters were far more likely to have problems paying their bills, compared with non-renters and far more likely to have debts that are delinquent, according to data released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.