Emily Benfer began her career representing homeless families in Washington, D.C.
Her first case involved a family that had been evicted after complaining to their landlord about the holes in their roof. One of the times she met with the family, one of the children, a 4-year-old girl, asked her: “Are you really going to help us?” Benfer struggled with how to answer.
“I’d met them too late,” she said. “I couldn’t stop the eviction. They had already been sleeping on the subway, and in other people’s homes. And you could see the effects it was taking on them.”
Today, Benfer is a leading expert on evictions. She is the chair of the American Bar Association’s Task Force Committee on Eviction and co-creator of the COVID-19 Housing Policy Scorecard with the Eviction Lab at Princeton University. Throughout the public health crisis, Benfer has been investigating how states are dealing with evictions and sharing what she finds in a public database.
CNBC spoke with Benfer about the coming eviction crisis and what can be done to turn it around. The interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Over the weekend, citizens of Virginia and the rest of the country were shocked as headlines across the internet reported that a Fauquier County Sheriff’s Deputy was found unconscious on the roadside after being attacked by people driving a black SUV. The blue line supporters came out in full force driving home the narrative that there is a war on cops. However, after police began investigating the incident, they quickly found out that no attack ever happened.