Eviction ban expires, putting renters at jeopardy
The federal eviction moratorium officially expired at midnight on Saturday, leaving millions of Americans at risk of being forced out of their homes as COVID-19 cases are again rising due to the delta variant.
President Biden and House Democrats had sought to extend the moratorium, but the House adjourned for recess on Friday without being able to shore up the necessary votes to pass a bill extending the moratorium.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Saturday blamed Republicans for the failure to extend the moratorium, though the Democratic caucus was also unable to agree on how to proceed, with Pelosi arguing they had not been given enough time to reach a consensus.
Pelosi had urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to extend the moratorium, despite the Supreme Court previously ruling that the agency did not have the authority to extend the eviction ban beyond July 31 without congressional action.
After it was clear that the House would be unable to pass an extension, Biden called on local governments to use federal funds to prevent evictions.
“Every state and local government must get these funds out to ensure we prevent every eviction we can,” Biden said in a statement late Friday. “State and local governments can and should use both the Emergency Rental Assistance and their American Rescue Plan state and local funds to support policies with courts, community groups, and legal aid to ensure no one seeks an eviction when they have not sought out Emergency Rental Assistance funds.”
Over 15 million people in the U.S. are currently behind on their rent, Reuters notes, with over $20 billion collectively owed to landlords.
Progressive lawmakers like Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) spent Friday night outside the Capitol in protest of the moratorium expiring.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.