As millions of Americans continue to struggle financially and businesses fight to stay open, renters worry about the possibility of eviction when they are unable to meet their rent.
But on June 29, the Supreme Court rejected a request to lift the federal ban on eviction—set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—and will run until July 31.
In March 2020, when businesses had to shut down, and many Americans had to stay home, Congress put in place a federal nationwide eviction moratorium to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus by “preventing homelessness and overcrowded housing conditions; resulting from eviction.”
Congress issued the first moratorium as part of the CARES act in March 2020. After the CARES Act of moratorium expired in July 2020, the CDC stepped in to issue its moratorium, which has since been extended twice.
In a statement released by the Biden-Harris Administration on June 24, they announced “taking a series of actions to help state and local governments prevent evictions. The Administration is also taking action to stabilize homeowners and support a return to a more stable housing market, including extending the foreclosure moratorium for federally backed mortgages.”
Other local and state governments have temporary eviction moratoriums. For example, New York’s eviction moratorium will be extended to Aug. 31, Los Angeles County banned eviction to Sept. 30. Washington’s eviction moratorium has been extended to June 30–but after this date, the state will offer an eviction moratorium bridge, which provides a transition to the eviction resolution programs the state is continuing to roll out.
The first extension for the nationwide eviction moratorium was from May 29 through June 30. But the CDC extended the ban for another month, saying this would be its final extension.
Who Qualifies for Protection?
The federal ban on eviction requires renters who have been late on their rent payments to file a signed declaration form to their landlord. This one must state that they have lost income due to the pandemic and have looked for financial assistance.
To be eligible for the moratorium, renters must meet the following:
- Falling below the $99,000 annual income threshold;
- Unable to pay total rent or make housing payments due to substantial loss of income;
- Making an effort to pay at least partial rent;
- At least one member of the household must demonstrate a risk of homelessness without assistance.
What Will Be Done by the Biden-Harris Administration Once the Ban is Lifted?
The Biden-Harris Administration said in a statement that they would work with state and local governments to prevent evictions. Moreover, the Administration is ‘’calling for the acceleration of the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) funds to renters and landlords in need in addition to an all-hands-on-deck effort by local governments, courts, community organizations, and the legal community to create alternatives to evictions.’’