The Supreme Court ruled on August 26, 2021 that the latest federal eviction moratorium extension was unlawful. Housing providers should keep in mind that some state and local governments may still have their own eviction moratoria in place that may still be in effect.
As supported by NAR, the Administration has also been focused on promoting awareness of the availability of rental assistance to help both renters and housing providers through a new toolkit issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at the end of July and a a fact sheet on “Initiatives to Promote Housing Stability by Supporting Vulnerable Tenants and Preventing Foreclosures” issued at the end of June.Rental Assistance Resources | Background and Talking Points | Coronavirus: Housing Providers FAQs | CDC Eviction Moratorium Litigation | Rental Properties | Property Management | Commercial Real Estate
NAR's Position on Rental Assistance
NAR has always maintained that the best solution for all parties was rental assistance to cover the rent, taxes, and utility bills for tenants struggling during the pandemic. This prevents two crises—one for tenants, and one for mom-and-pop housing providers who do not have a reprieve from their bills.
With rental assistance secured, the economy strengthening, and unemployment rates falling, there is no need to continue a blanket, nationwide eviction ban. Our focus now is on the swift and full implementation of rental assistance as we aim to regain stability and normalcy in America's housing market.
NAR's Advocacy Efforts on Rental Assistance
NAR remains focused on ensuring the effective deployment of rental assistance to protect tenants and avoid the ongoing financial burdens unfairly placed on housing providers. NAR continues to work closely with the Administration and a large coalition of industry partners on these efforts so that tenants and housing providers alike can meet their financial obligations and the housing market is stabilized.
- NAR has advocated for and helped secure nearly $50 billion in federal rental assistance funding. It continues to support its members in their efforts to obtain these critical funds for their tenants and remains one of the most vocal and committed public opponents of the CDC’s eviction moratorium.
- NAR also continues to work within a large, industry-wide coalition opposing the CDC order and advocating for effective deployment of emergency rental assistance.
- As advocated for by NAR, the White House recently released additional guidance aimed at speeding up and improving distribution of Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) funds to tenants and housing providers in need.
- Read more about the ERAP changes, including the allowance of allowing self-attestation, advances for housing providers, and ensuring that previous addresses are eligible for ERAP funds.
- NAR also recently met with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to discuss methods for better communicating the availability of aid to both renters and housing providers who can benefit from it. That feedback was used to develop a brand new helpful toolkit for renters and housing providers on accessing rental assistance.
- NAR will continue to work with the Administration and Congress to improve the distribution of ERAP funds and ensure they are getting to tenants who qualify so their housing providers can be made whole.
NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.
U.S. Supreme Court Ends CDC's Pandemic Residential Eviction Moratorium (Reuters, Aug. 27, 2021)
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ended the pandemic-related federal moratorium on residential evictions imposed by President Joe Biden's administration in a challenge to the policy brought by a coalition of landlords and real estate trade groups.
CDC Issues Eviction Moratorium Order in Areas of Substantial and High Transmission (Center for Disease Control & Prevention, Aug. 3, 2021)
- This Order is effective on August 3, 2021 and will remain in effect through October 3, 2021, subject to revision based on the changing public health landscape.
Impact on Small Landlords
Eviction Moratorium’s Renewal Squeezes Small Landlords (The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 6, 2021)
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention enacted the eviction ban last September to prevent people with financial hardship from being evicted during the pandemic. Since then, many smaller landlords have struggled to collect their monthly rent checks and some have gone into forbearance on their mortgages.
- The majority of the nation’s landlords are individual investors. They own about 23 million units in 17 million properties, according to the U.S. Census. More than 6 million renter households are behind on rent, also according to the Census. Landlords have next to no recourse. Howard Simon owns a small building in Massachusetts with three rental units. He hasn’t received the rent on one of them since last October and is out about $7,000 so far. “I have mortgages, I have expenses for repairs to that particular building, I’m losing one-third of the rent just because of this,” said Simon. “And you know the other tenants who are occupying the other two units, they’re trying their hardest and doing their best.” Simon has contacted the delinquent tenants but said they will not respond, nor will they apply for the aid available to them.
The $50 Billion Race to Save America’s Renters from Eviction (The Washington Post, April 8, 2021)
- The National Association of Home Builders joined Ohio landlords in another suit. The judge in that case, J. Philip Calabrese, also ruled against the ban, writing March 10 that “the CDC’s orders exceeded the statutory authority Congress gave the agency.” Tenants’ advocates and apartment company lobbyists alike celebrated when the federal government approved about $46.5 billion in emergency rental aid to be distributed to renters and landlords through hundreds of state, local and tribal housing agencies and organizations. But quickly and efficiently disbursing so much money is no straightforward task. Yentel said recently that only about half the states have created a program to do so. Some landlords have begun saying they won’t accept the money out of concern that too many strings are attached.
Eviction Moratorium: Landlords Pay a Price (Washington Examiner, April 1, 2021)
- While acknowledging the plight of tenants, many local, state, and federal government agencies appear dismissive of the plight of small-time landlords, such as Rich Tyson of Rochester, New York. “My property tax by liability per year is approximately $58,000. I've lost more than that year to date from tenants, not affected by COVID, but who simply have chosen not to pay rent. ... I’ve lost… $60,000 this year in rents that are… never going to get recouped,” said Tyson.
Eviction Moratorium a Burden for Landlords (Las Vegas Review Journal, April 1, 2021)
- Any experienced property manager will tell you that once a tenant owes a month or more of rent, the tenant, no matter how well-meaning, won’t be able to make up the unpaid balance. Experienced managers will skip legal action and make it attractive for the tenant to find more suitable and affordable housing and eat the loss when they realize the tenant can’t pay.
Keep Washington’s Mom-and-Pop Landlords in Business (The Seattle Times, March 29, 2021)
- State leaders are right to prevent pandemic-related residential evictions. Droves of Washingtonians shouldn’t be turned out into the street when eviction moratoriums eventually expire. But landlords aren’t the big bad wolf in every story. Often, they’re small business owners struggling to pay their own bills. These days, many are wondering if the investment is worth the risk. Washington’s policymakers should encourage these entrepreneurs instead of driving them away.
Some Landlords Sell Properties as CDC Extends Eviction Ban (CNBC, March 29, 2021)
- A federal ban on evictions is putting the squeeze on smaller landlords, who are unable to directly access COVID rental relief funds, and some are starting to sell properties to recoup losses. This will likely reduce the much-needed, affordable rental stock in an already unaffordable housing market.
Impact on Tenants
The Best Thing About the New Eviction Moratorium Is More Time to Get Rent Relief (Curbed, Aug. 5, 2021)
- The CDC moratorium stops physical evictions — the actual removal of a tenant from where they live. But there’s nothing stopping landlords from filing new cases in housing court.
- Each state has its own program and process for disbursing the aid. However, tenants face an uphill battle when it comes to getting the relief, since they have to overcome multiple barriers, says Caitlin Cedfeldt, staff attorney at Legal Aid of Nebraska.
Illinois Eviction Moratorium for Renters Likely to Extend, But Don't Get Too Far Behind (ABC TV Chicago, March 31, 2021)
- The hold on evictions in Illinois is likely to continue following CDC guidance of a moratorium on evictions until June 30, but it's important to not fall too far behind. The moratorium may give tenants some room to breathe, but on the other side are property owners. The most impacted are those with small buildings, for whom going without income can also be difficult. "If someone has four units and they have one or two tenants that are not paying, that becomes a significant portion of their investment," said Paul Arena, Illinois Rental Property Owners Association.
COVID-19 Resources for Renters (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)
Federal Eviction Moratorium (National Low Income Housing Coalition)
Temporary Protection from Eviction (Center for Disease Control & Prevention)
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