CDC extends coronavirus eviction ban through June 30

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The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday announced that it has extended a federal ban on coronavirus-related evictions through June 30, three days before it was set to expire.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a historic threat to the nation’s public health. Keeping people in their homes and out of crowded or congregate settings — like homeless shelters — by preventing evictions is a key step in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky in a Monday statement.

Walensky on Sunday signed an order to postpone the March 31 expiration of the CDC eviction ban, the agency announced Monday. 

The CDC in September prohibited evictions of renters — individuals who expected to make less than $99,000 in 2020 and couples filing jointly looking at less than $198,000 — if they failed to pay rent due to a pandemic-related job loss or expense. 

Housing advocates had urged the Biden administration to extend the eviction ban with the U.S. still at least several months away from containing the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 10 million Americans are facing housing insecurity, 5.4 million expect to face eviction or foreclosure soon, and more than 78 million said they’re having trouble covering basic expenses, according to a Census Bureau survey conducted earlier this month.

While inconsistent legal interpretations by state judges and logistical challenges have limited the reach of the CDC ban, experts say it has prevented millions of Americans from homelessness during the pandemic.

The 90-day extension could give struggling households sorely needed time to find work and begin digging out from the financial hole created by the pandemic. Those protected by the ban are still responsible for paying rent and fees that accrued on it during the moratorium, and many will likely need federal assistance to cover those costs.

The Biden administration has been racing to disburse nearly $40 billion in aid to cover rent and utilities payments owed by struggling households. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told lawmakers last week that the department has distributed rental aid to state, local and tribal grantees, and would work on new guidelines to clear up confusion about the relief program’s rules.

The White House also outlined Monday how other federal departments and agencies would be involved rental relief and tenant protections efforts.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development will reach out to local governments and housing providers “to communicate about the eviction moratorium extension and will offer guidance and support where needed,” the White House said. The Department of Agriculture will order owners of multifamily homes within its housing portfolio to post notices about the moratorium extension.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will also supervise landlord and rental companies and investigate any evictions that potentially violate the CDC moratorium.

“We will not tolerate illegal practices that displace families and expose them—and by extension all of us—to grave health risks,” said CFPB acting Director Dave Uejio and FTC acting Chairwoman Rebecca Slaughter in a joint statement.

Renters seeking protection under the CDC’s eviction ban must complete a letter declaring that they qualify for the moratorium and present it to their landlords.

Updated at 10:12 a.m.

Tags CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus COVID-19 eviction ban Evictions Janet Yellen Recession renters Rochelle Walensky
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