CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has signed an order to extend the CDC eviction moratorium saying the evictions of tenants for failure to make rent or housing payments could be detrimental to public health-control measures to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
“This order will expire on October 3, 2021 and applies in United States counties experiencing substantial and high levels of community transmission levels of SARS-CoV-2,” Walensky said in a release.
“The eviction moratorium allows additional time for rent relief to reach renters and to further increase vaccination rates. In the context of a pandemic, eviction moratoria—like quarantine, isolation, and social distancing—can be an effective public health measure utilized to prevent the spread of communicable disease. Eviction moratoria facilitate self-isolation and self-quarantine by people who become ill or who are at risk of transmitting COVID-19 by keeping people out of congregate settings and in their own homes,” the release said.
The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) issued a release saying that it “strongly opposes the CDC’s latest announcement to reimpose a federal eviction moratorium. This action is a complete reversal of the administration’s stated course announced just last week, including the perceived constitutional barriers to a CDC moratorium.
“This move does nothing to speed the delivery of real solutions for America’s renters and ignores the unsustainable and unfair economic burden placed on millions of housing providers— jeopardizing their financial stability and threatening the loss of affordable housing stock nationwide,” the NMHC said in the release.
The National Real Estate Investors Association issued the following statement regarding the Biden Administration’s recent reimposition of the CDC’s eviction moratorium:
“Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court said in a 5-4 decision that the CDC does not have the authority to put in place an eviction moratorium under Section 264. However, the Biden Administration chose to do it anyway. We are calling on the Supreme Court to immediately strike down this blatant act of unconstitutionality,” the organization said in a release.
Charles Tassell, COO of National REIA, said “The executive branch is acting as if it were the legislative branch, meanwhile the judicial branch is asleep at the wheel. Justice Kavanaugh deferred from striking down the eviction moratorium only because the administration stated it would expire in July. Turns out, this was nothing but a hollow promise and a ruse. How many more small business owners will go belly-up before this never-ending moratorium actually expires?”
In addition, Tassell stated that “this convoluted order will only muddy the waters with daily and weekly changes, inducing confusion and leaving many harmed along the way – not least of which are the 50 percent of property owners who own one to four units that will now be at risk of massive fines and jail time should their legal due process fall on the wrong date.”
Rent relief money still slow in coming
“At the onset of the pandemic, NMHC urged Congress to create a federal rental assistance program. Congress finally heard our calls and late last year enacted the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Seven months after states received the first tranche (portion) of $25 billion of the nearly $46 billion appropriated, only $3 billion has been distributed as of June 30, according to Treasury data.
“It is unacceptable that some localities continue to delay distribution of benefits, and it is unacceptable to continue to ask housing providers to carry the financial burden of this pandemic.
“For nearly 18 months, apartment firms have stepped up to help their residents facing financial struggles through payment plans, deferred payments or other solutions. They continue to do so now, redirecting staff, and hiring new staff, to reach out to residents and to help them apply for assistance,” the NMHC said in the release.