Veteran lives out of her car after evicting tenants under moratorium

A New York state landlord has been forced to live out of her car because the tenants of her three properties have refused to pay the rent for nearly a year — while she can’t evict them due to state and federal moratoriums.

Brandie LaCasse, who owes more than $23,000 in uncollected rent from her three properties, has not received rent assistance money from the government after at least one of her tenants was approved for rent assistance, CBS News reported.

LaCasse, an Air Force veteran, has effectively become homeless without the income to support herself and her daughter. The single mother and her daughter live out of her car or stay with friends.

“I cried many nights, as if I was thinking, ‘Where’s my money?'” she said.

She added: “I don’t understand how they can give my private property to someone to live for free. I bought that property. I solved it with my blood, sweat and tears.’

“I invested in these properties, never thinking I wouldn’t have a place to live. I just want my house. That is it. I just want my house,” LaCasse said.

A New York State landlord lives out of her car as state and federal moratoriums prevent her from evicting her tenants who can’t afford the rent

Brandie LaCasse, who owns three properties, hasn't received rent in nearly a year and owes more than $23,000 in uncollected rent

Brandie LaCasse, who owns three properties, hasn’t received rent in nearly a year and owes more than $23,000 in uncollected rent

Air Force Veteran LaCasse Has Basically Been Homeless Without The Income To Support Herself And Her Daughter

Air Force Veteran LaCasse Has Basically Been Homeless Without The Income To Support Herself And Her Daughter

LaCasse claimed she informed her tenants to move out so she could move in — when they decided to stop paying her rent.

Her tenant Carla McArthur, who was approved for rent assistance, expressed her condolences for the landlord’s position but told CBS News that she cannot afford the rent due to high childcare costs for her daughter and autistic son.

“I feel bad I couldn’t afford her,” McArthur said. “We moved away from two incomes. I’ve had COVID-19 twice. My kids have had it all once. My husband had it once. We have been affected by the virus.’

McArthur said she’s concerned that LaCasse will kick her family out once the moratorium is lifted, leaving them homeless.

“I’m not sure what she’s going to do when the moratorium is lifted,” McArthur said. “That’s what I’m afraid of, being homeless.”

LaCasse’s situation represents the current state for many landlords across the country, as the US Treasury Department has noted that nearly 90 percent of rental assistance funds are undistributed.

New York has paid out only about 8 percent of the $2.6 billion federally allocated for rent assistance to landlords, CBS News noted.

US Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen sent a landlord to state and local government leaders to address the eviction moratorium. Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary of Housing Marcia L. Fudge also signed the letter.

“We are writing to ask for your urgent help to prevent unnecessary evictions during the pandemic,” Yellen wrote.

“Our bottom line is this: No one should be evicted until they have had a chance to apply for rent assistance, and no eviction should occur until that application has been processed.”

LaCasse's tenant Carla McArthur, who was approved for rent assistance, expressed her sympathy for the landlord's position

LaCasse’s tenant Carla McArthur, who was approved for rent assistance, expressed her sympathy for the landlord’s position

McArthur said she is concerned that LaCasse will kick her family to the curb when the moratorium is lifted, leaving them homeless.

McArthur said she is concerned that LaCasse will kick her family to the curb when the moratorium is lifted, leaving them homeless.

Yellen added that the Treasury department remains “laser-focused” to ensure that Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) funds quickly reach tenants and landlords.

“It is critical that tenants have the opportunity to receive that support before they are evicted,” Yellen wrote.

“Many state and local governments are working hard to get rent assistance to those in need as quickly as possible, and these policies will ensure that tenants are not evicted before those resources reach them.”

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University has a new report on ‘How are landlords doing during the COVID-19 pandemic?’

The study surveyed more than 2,500 rental home owners in 10 cities in the United States to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on rent collection and landlord business behavior.

“Ten percent of all landlords collected less than half of their annual rent by 2020, with smaller landlords (1-5 units) most likely to leave tenants behind with rent payments,” the study concluded.

US Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen sent a landlord to state and local government leaders to address the moratorium on eviction

US Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen sent a landlord to state and local government leaders to address the moratorium on eviction

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University has released a new report on 'How are landlords doing during the COVID-19 pandemic?'

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University has released a new report on ‘How are landlords doing during the COVID-19 pandemic?’

The research shows that the percentage of landlords granting lease renewals to tenants has increased from 15 percent in 2019 to 48 percent in 2020.

The percentage of landlords that returned rent owed by tenants rose from just 3 percent to 21 percent.

The study also found that landlords were more likely to punish tenants of color with late rents, evictions and lack of rent forgiveness.

The US Census Bureau on Wednesday released results of its periodic Household Pulse Survey, which painted a poor picture of eviction risk in the country. The agency used the results of 68,799 responses to make estimates for the entire country.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Thursday that the Biden administration is “disappointed” that the Supreme Court has blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent moratorium.

“As a result of this ruling, families will suffer the painful consequences of evictions and communities across the country will be at greater risk of exposure to COVID-19,” Psaki said in the statement.

“In light of the Supreme Court ruling and the continued risk of transmission of COVID-19, President Biden once again calls on all entities that can prevent evictions — from cities and states to local courts, landlords, cabinet agencies — to act urgently for evictions.’

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