The Centers for Disease Control announced it is extending by an additional three months—through June 30—its nationwide eviction moratorium, a measure that has come under increased scrutiny recently. The moratorium prohibits housing providers from evicting tenants who are unable to pay their rent due to financial hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The moratorium, however, has been blamed for negatively impacting housing providers due to the loss of rental payments. The National Association of REALTORS®, along with a coalition of other housing industry groups, have been advocating for an end to the eviction moratorium and asking for additional rental assistance funds to “ensure the moratorium doesn’t lead to a spiraling crisis for housing providers and tenants.”
Since being enacted on Sept. 4, 2020, the moratorium has been challenged by several states and localities. The CDC has the authority to grant an eviction moratorium under Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act, citing the purpose is to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
Among the qualifications for tenants to use the CDC order, residents must ensure they’ve pursued all appropriate government assistance, met certain income and employment requirements, and used their best efforts to make timely partial payments. The latest CDC order expands it to include people who are confirmed to have or been exposed to COVID-19. Anyone using the CDC order for protection must provide their housing provider with a copy of a signed declaration form stating they meet the requirements to be covered by the moratorium. Read more about the CDC’s order.
The CDC order is for tenants who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. But property owners may still evict tenant orders for criminal activity, damaging property, or violating other obligations within their leases.
NAR has been advocating for federal rental assistance to help housing providers who are seeing a surge in missed payments due to the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. “NAR helped secured $25 billion in 2020 and another $21.55 billion earlier this month in federal rental assistance funding, which can be paid directly to property owners,” says Shannon McGahn, NAR’s chief advocacy officer. “This was critical to averting a multifamily real estate crisis, as many of our nation’s housing providers are mom-and-pop operations. Our focus now turns to ensuring there is not just enough funding but also a smooth implementation of rental assistance while the various challenges to eviction bans work their way through the courts.”
The National Council of State Housing Agencies is tracking the individual state programs on the distribution of emergency rental assistance funding to housing providers and renters who qualify.