CDC Uses Quarantine Power to Issue Eviction Moratorium for 40M+ People, But Some Evictions Can Continue

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an unprecedented eviction moratorium on Tuesday that protects tens of millions of people, but landlords can continue to evict residents for a wide range of reasons, NPR reports.

The CDC used its quarantine authority to ban evictions in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The move comes after the Trump administration and Senate Republicans balked at approving a coronavirus relief package House Democrats passed in May that included an extension of the federal moratorium as millions face eviction amid rampant job losses.

The CDC eviction ban covers far more people than the previous federal ban, which only applied to people in federally-backed buildings, but the ban does not outright ban all evictions.

Some evictions can continue:

Under the rules, only renters who earn $99,000 per year ($198,000 if filing jointly) are eligible and they must show that they face homelessness if evicted.

While the rules bar evictions for reasons of nonpayment, they allow evictions for other reasons to continue.

The move also provides no money for rent relief, leaving residents facing eviction once the ban expires in February.

"While an eviction moratorium is an essential step, it is a half-measure that extends a financial cliff for renters to fall off of when the moratorium expires and back rent is owed,” Diane Yentel, CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, told NPR.

Landlords face financial difficulty:

"We are disappointed that the administration has chosen to enact a federal eviction moratorium without the existence of dedicated, long-term funding for rental and unemployment assistance,” added Doug Bibby, the head of the National Multifamily Housing Council. "An eviction moratorium will ultimately harm the very people it aims to help by making it impossible for housing providers, particularly small owners, to meet their financial obligations and continue to provide shelter to their resident.”

Both Bibby and Yentel called on Congress to provide rent relief.

"Congress and the White House must get back to work on negotiations to enact a COVID-19 relief bill with at least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance." Yentel told NPR. "Together with a national eviction moratorium, this assistance would keep renters stably housed and small landlords able to pay their bills and maintain their properties during the pandemic."

 

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