The Biden Administration on Thursday said it would not attempt to unilaterally extend the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) national eviction moratorium, allowing it to expire on July 31.
In a statement, the White House acknowledged a recent Supreme Court ruling on the issue, saying, “. . . the Supreme Court has made clear that this option is no longer available.”
President Biden is now asking Congress to intervene and extend the ban.
“NAR is prepared to oppose vigorously any unreasonable effort by Congress to extend the ban without assistance for small housing providers,” says Shannon McGahn, chief advocacy officer for NAR. “We have argued all along that the best solution for all parties is rental assistance for tenants in need paid directly to housing providers. Nearly half of all rental housing in America is a mom-and-pop operation, and these providers cannot continue to live in a state of financial hardship.”
“With the economy improving, rental assistance now available in all 50 states, and millions of unfilled jobs, it is time to return the housing market to its former, healthy function,” McGahn says.
The CDC ban has been in place since September 2020. It was first imposed by the Trump Administration and then extended multiple times by the Biden Administration.
With many mom-and-pop housing providers facing financial ruin and unable to pay their bills or keep up their properties, NAR launched a massive advocacy effort last year to secure rental assistance for tenants. Nearly $50 billion was obtained through two pieces of legislation.
As a result of subsequent eviction ban extensions, however, the Georgia and Alabama associations of REALTORS® and two housing providers—with NAR’s help—filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the CDC’s authority to impose the ban. In May, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Columbia Dabney Friedrich ruled that the CDC exceeded its authority and sided with small housing providers, overturning the ban.
The ruling was put on hold pending appeal. The Georgia and Alabama associations appealed the stay to the D.C. Circuit Court; after their appeal was denied, the associations asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene and immediately end the eviction ban.
In June, a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court agreed that the CDC exceeded its authority with the ban.
Four Justices wanted to end it immediately. A fifth justice said explicitly the CDC exceeded its authority but allowed the ban to stay in effect a few more weeks to keep an orderly transition and provide more time for rental assistance distribution.
“With NAR's support, the Alabama and Georgia REALTORS® have achieved a tremendous victory for property rights that will reverberate far into the future,” McGahn says. “The Administration has now officially said any future national eviction ban would need to go through Congress.”
Tenants are now eligible for up to a year-and-a-half of back and future rent.
Rental assistance guidance is available on NAR’s website.
The White House has also been preparing tenants for weeks for the end of the moratorium, issuing new guidance yesterday on how to obtain rental assistance.