Biden to extend eviction moratorium, student loan forbearance
President-elect Joe Biden will sign executive orders Wednesday afternoon following his inauguration extending an evictions moratorium and forbearance on student loans, both efforts to provide economic relief in the face of the ongoing pandemic.
“We’re at a very critical and precarious moment for our economy,” said Brian Deese, Biden’s pick to direct the National Economic Council.
Biden will call on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to extend an evictions moratorium set to expire on Jan. 31 until the end of February.
President Trump first issued the CDC moratorium in September, and Congress extended it last month. The moratorium has faced some legal hurdles and housing advocates say it has some serious flaws, including the level of proactive action required by tenants, but it remains one of the few shields in place for people facing eviction.
Biden is also set to direct several agencies that cover mortgages, including the departments of Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development, as well as the the Federal Housing Finance Agency, to extend their own bans on evictions from properties their agencies back. They will also be asked to continue accepting forbearance applications for mortgage-holders.
On student loans, Biden will extend the Education Department’s forbearance policy until Sept. 30, meaning borrowers can continue to put off paying both principal and interest on direct federal loans.
Deese was clear that the actions were meant to extend support but that more action would be needed from Congress.
The orders will be among 15 first-day executive orders Biden intends to sign following his inauguration, including a national mask mandate, a reversal to Trump’s Muslim travel ban, a reaffirmation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program and reentry into the Paris climate accords.
Updated at 11:29 a.m.
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