Biden administration mulling eviction freeze extension: report

The Biden administration is reportedly considering extending the federal moratorium on evictions to allow more time for allocating emergency housing funds.

The White House is looking into extending the freeze put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under the Trump administration by one month, The New York Times reported, citing three unidentified people with knowledge of the situation.

The administration is reportedly considering strategies for accelerating the distribution of $21.5 billion of emergency rental assistance that was allotted in the American Recovery Act this spring.

President Biden’s team is issuing new guidance on utilizing pandemic relief funds and working with mayors, bar associations and legal services organizations to help speed up the allocation of the funds, according to the Times.

The CDC issued an order in September banning landlords from evicting tenants from properties they can no longer afford because of earnings lost during the coronavirus pandemic. The measure, initially set to expire on June 30, was enacted in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by allowing financially distressed tenants to stay in their homes.

The White House, however, has not yet signed off on extending the eviction moratorium out of fear that leaving it in place for an additional month could potentially put it at risk of more legal trouble and a ruling that influences executive action during future crises, the Times reported.

In May, a federal judge vacated the nationwide eviction freeze, claiming that the CDC exceeded its authority with the temporary ban.

District Judge Dabney Friedrich later that month, however, agreed to delay the enforcement of the ruling, allowing the moratorium to remain in effect while the Biden administration appealed the decision.

The Hill reached out to the White House for comment.

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