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Howard Center Project Investigates Evictions Amid COVID-19

By Maryland Today Staff

As the arrival of COVID-19 caused millions to lose their jobs and the federal government to enact an eviction moratorium, the University of Maryland’s Howard Center for Investigative Journalism today released a package of stories published in news outlets nationwide examining whether that ban successfully kept people from becoming homeless.

Students and faculty involved in the project, the latest part of the Howard Center’s “Nowhere to Go” series on the impacts of homelessness, uses court records, eviction data, public records and interviews with landlords, tenants and housing experts to assess how the CARES Act eviction moratorium played out on the ground. The Howard Center—in collaboration with Stanford University, Boston University and the University of Arkansas—found confusion at every level, which led to selective enforcement of the law and unequal treatment for renters.

Congress allowed the moratorium, originally put into place in March, to lapse on July 24. The Trump administration yesterday announced an order to bar coronavirus-related evictions for the rest of the year.

The Howard Center project was published by The Associated Press, Gannett and the Philip Merrill College of Journalism’s Capital News Service. It was supported by grants from the Pulitzer Center, the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Park Foundation.

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