For nearly 11 months, the CDC’s eviction moratorium has served as a critical backstop to prevent hard-pressed renters and their families who lost jobs or income due to the COVID-19 pandemic from being evicted for nonpayment of rent. This moratorium prevented hundreds of thousands of Americans from experiencing the heartbreak, homelessness, and health risks that too often emanate from evictions –particularly during a pandemic. The Administration considered it a prudent public health decision when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended the eviction moratorium until July 31st.
Given the recent spread of the Delta variant, including among those Americans both most likely to face evictions and lacking vaccinations, President Biden would have strongly supported a decision by the CDC to further extend this eviction moratorium to protect renters at this moment of heightened vulnerability. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has made clear that this option is no longer available. In June, when CDC extended the eviction moratorium until July 31st, the Supreme Court’s ruling stated that “clear and specific congressional authorization (via new legislation) would be necessary for the CDC to extend the moratorium past July 31.”
In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling, the President calls on Congress to extend the eviction moratorium to protect such vulnerable renters and their families without delay. In addition, he has asked the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, and Veterans Affairs to extend their respective eviction moratoria through the end of September, which will provide continued protection for households living in federally-insured, single-family properties. The President has also asked these and other departments to do everything in their power so that owners and operators of federally-assisted and financed rental housing seek Emergency Rental Assistance to make themselves whole while keeping families in secure and safe housing – before moving toward eviction.
Finally, the President urges states and localities, which long ago received Emergency Rental Assistance – including through the American Rescue Plan – to urgently accelerate their efforts to disburse these funds given the imminent ending of the CDC eviction moratorium. With some cities and states demonstrating their ability to release these funds efficiently to tenants and landlords in need, there can be no excuse for any state or locality not to promptly deploy the resources that Congress appropriated to meet this critical need of so many Americans.
The Administration remains committed to doing everything in its power to keep people safely and securely housed, which is essential to the health, well-being and dignity of all of us.