The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended its nationwide eviction moratorium until July 31, even as legal challenges to the order continue to grow. The moratorium, which has been ruled unlawful by three separate federal courts, was set to expire next Wednesday.
The Georgia and Alabama state REALTOR® associations sued the federal government to vacate the eviction moratorium; that case now goes to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Florida REALTORS® association also filed a lawsuit in Tampa, calling the moratorium “unprecedented and an unlawful federal administrative order.” And in a third case, the Northern District of Ohio ruled that the CDC doesn't have the authority to issue such a moratorium. While individual plaintiffs in two of the cases received relief, the case involving the Georgia and Alabama associations is pending appeal by the Department of Justice.
The eviction moratorium is hurting housing providers, many of whom say they have not received rental payments from tenants for more than a year. Property owners nationwide say they’re absorbing billions of dollars in losses monthly because of unpaid rent under the moratorium.
The National Association of REALTORS®, which helped secure rental assistance in the latest COVID-19 rescue measures, is part of a coalition of housing groups voicing opposition to an extension of the CDC’s eviction ban. The moratorium will be “continuing a broad, overreaching policy that has not been needed on a national level for some time,” NAR President Charlie Oppler said a statement. “The real estate industry expressed our united opposition to a moratorium extension, which harms small housing providers and threatens stability in the market. We will continue to push for reforms to improve deployment of rental assistance, which remains the best solution for all parties.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, NAR has said that an eviction moratorium must be accompanied by rental assistance to avoid an eviction crisis once the CDC’s ban lapses. NAR has helped secure a total of $46.55 billion in federal rental assistance, which is slowly being distributed to states. And while states are scrambling to disburse the funds, NAR says the federal funding hasn’t been enough to make up for the loss in income housing providers are experiencing.
The Biden administration says the extension is for “one final month” and vowed to initiate other steps to help prevent a national wave of evictions or foreclosures. The administration, for example, is urging state and local courts to adopt anti-eviction diversion programs to help tenants with missed payments stay in their homes. The administration also said it will try to speed up distribution of tens of billions of dollars in emergency rental assistance and increase awareness of the availability of funds. Read more about the administration’s initiatives at WhiteHouse.gov.