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U.S. CDC announces new 60-day COVID-19 eviction moratorium

EconomyAug 04, 2021 04:12AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A "For Rent" sign is displayed in front of an apartment building in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., June 20, 2021. REUTERS/Will Dunham

By David Shepardson and Trevor Hunnicutt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday issued a new 60-day moratorium on residential evictions in areas with high levels of COVID-19 infections citing the raging Delta variant after having rejected an earlier push by the White House.

The order applies to about 80% of U.S. counties that have substantial or high COVID-19 community transmission rates and covers about 90% of the U.S. population. The CDC said it will expand the protections to additional counties if they see a rise in COVID-19 cases.

"The emergence of the Delta variant has led to a rapid acceleration of community transmission in the United States, putting more Americans at increased risk, especially if they are unvaccinated," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. "This moratorium is the right thing to do to keep people in their homes and out of congregate settings where COVID-19 spreads."

The CDC cited survey data that 6.9 million renters were behind on their rent in June and suggested mass evictions were likely without action.

The new CDC order will protect millions of renters from eviction but is slightly more limited than a nationwide moratorium that expired Saturday at midnight, and is almost certain to face legal challenges.

On Sunday, the CDC rejected President Joe Biden's request for a new scaled-down pandemic-related moratorium, citing a lack of legal authority stemming from a recent Supreme Court decision.

Biden had urged an extension so more than $40 billion in unused money approved by Congress to help pay unpaid rent can be distributed to renters and landlords and keep people in their homes.

More than 15 million people in 6.5 million U.S. households are currently behind on rental payments, according to a study by the Aspen Institute and the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project, collectively owing more than $20 billion to landlords.

The National Apartment Association, with 82,600 members that collectively manage more than 9.7 million rental units last week sued the U.S. government seeking billions of dollars in unpaid rent due to the moratorium.

The group called the new eviction moratorium "an unfunded government mandate that forces housing providers to deliver a costly service without compensation and saddles renters with insurmountable debt."

A Supreme Court opinion in June suggested that legislative approval would be required to extend the moratorium. It is unclear if the court will review the new more limited moratorium differently.

Biden on Tuesday acknowledged the legal risks of moving ahead with a new moratorium but said it will probably give some "additional time" to renters as the issue makes it way through the courts.

The CDC moratorium, which was put in place in September 2020 and kept millions of people from being forced out of their homes for unpaid rent during the pandemic, was extended for another 30 days in June and officials at the time said it would be the final extension.

But with COVID-19 rates climbing, some House Democrats led by Representative Cori Bush staged a protest outside the U.S. Capitol that put pressure on the administration to reverse course and protect renters at risk.

The new moratorium will last until Oct. 3.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, both Democrats, had urged a reinstatement of the ban after Congress was unable to do so.

"This brand new moratorium will provide time for the money allocated by Congress to flow, as it helps stop the spread of the virus which is worsening due to the Delta variant and protects families and landlords," Pelosi said in a statement.

Biden also called on state and local governments to extend or put in place eviction bans for at the least the next two months, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

Some states like New York and California have already extended state eviction bans past July 31.

U.S. CDC announces new 60-day COVID-19 eviction moratorium
 

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Comments (17)
CHADWICK RICHINGTON
CHADWICK RICHINGTON Aug 04, 2021 4:21AM ET
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The USA is a weak sad nation in decline
John Thompson
John Thompson Aug 04, 2021 4:20AM ET
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expropriation without compensation its normal now world over get used to it landlords hahaha
Carlo Antonini
Carlo Antonini Aug 04, 2021 3:06AM ET
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why not just print more money and make renters and landlords whole on all unpaid back rent, mortgage, and taxes. Simple clean solution.
Darren Caris
Darren Caris Aug 04, 2021 2:59AM ET
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No way this is legal. CDC is corrupted with partisan hacks.
Alberto Vazquez
Alberto Vazquez Aug 04, 2021 12:22AM ET
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I'm sorry... when did we voted for the members of the CDC? Is the CDC the new religion we all have to follow?
ZS Beck
ZS Beck Aug 03, 2021 10:55PM ET
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Joke
Joseph Obrzut
jzut Aug 03, 2021 10:12PM ET
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A BIG NO!
Jim Jones
Jim Jones Aug 03, 2021 8:42PM ET
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And the welfare state continues.
Eloy Rodrigo
Eloy Rodrigo Aug 03, 2021 8:27PM ET
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More free money, more inflation.
Will Turnage
Bucked_up Aug 03, 2021 8:10PM ET
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Seems like an over reach of power to me, I feel for the tenants but they should have been saving the weekly added unemployment the goverment was handing out to lay rent, instead we have record I phone sales.
Miles Mathewson
Miles Mathewson Aug 03, 2021 7:46PM ET
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Nice! With house prices the sky landords don't need a drop of sympathy
Darren Caris
Darren Caris Aug 03, 2021 7:46PM ET
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Are you serious? If you were a landlord that paid a mortgage and taxes on your rental property would you feel the same way if you had a deadbeat squatter in your rental?
Miles Mathewson
Miles Mathewson Aug 03, 2021 7:46PM ET
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Darren Caris  I would rent instead of buying!!! Just like I do now
Rick Baier
Rick Baier Aug 03, 2021 6:55PM ET
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So who's paying the owners mortgage? Ridiculous
Bryan Ojeda
Bryan Ojeda Aug 03, 2021 6:19PM ET
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tjis is insane and downright socialist.
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Aug 03, 2021 6:13PM ET
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How many people who have not been paying their rent (and there are millions of them) put money aside for the inevitability that they would have to start paying rent again. Try zero.   This administration is never going to lift the moratorium. They'll have more new homeless people than they have illegal immigrants
Joe Bitman
Joe Bitman Aug 03, 2021 6:13PM ET
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Agreed. These articles make it sound like the typical renter is down and out but most of them spent their stimi $ on non necesseties and have no plans of paying the arreage owed. Even if the moratorium is ever lifted, theyll still have 90 days before having to leave. Scammers!
Me comment
Me comment Aug 03, 2021 5:39PM ET
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I would use the authority trump always did it is a national security interest issue if people get evicted.
James Pattison
James Pattison Aug 03, 2021 5:39PM ET
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You have trump derangment syndrome
Mikal Moore
Mikal Moore Aug 03, 2021 5:18PM ET
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Im sure the delta spreading vaccine will have the 🌎 back to normal in 60 days. 🖕🏽
Bad Boy
Bad Boy Aug 03, 2021 4:54PM ET
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Can home owner refuse to pay the mortgage and property tax? If yes, then no rent is fine and congress should not be paid at the same time since there is no tax revenue.
jason xx
jason xx Aug 03, 2021 4:54PM ET
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Yes they are taken care of of course
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Aug 03, 2021 4:54PM ET
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jason xx  property/ homeowners absolutely have to pay their mortgage and their taxes whether they get any rent or not
Igor Matvejev
Igor Matvejev Aug 03, 2021 4:54PM ET
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If you have "mortgage" , you are not really "owner". Next step would be not allowing rent on mortgage property.
Darren Caris
Darren Caris Aug 03, 2021 4:54PM ET
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Legally, in this country, you are. Perhaps just not from where you are from....which may be a good place to send all of the deadbeats not paying rent.
 
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