On May 5, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colombia struck down the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) nationwide eviction moratorium set to expire at the end of June, concluding the moratorium exceeds the limits Congress placed on the CDC’s authority.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) quickly filed a notice of appeal and a motion for an emergency stay of the order pending its appeal. In response, the D.C. District Court issued a temporary administrative stay on its order vacating the moratorium pending resolution of the DOJ’s motion, meaning the CDC eviction moratorium remains in place across the country pending further action by the court.
This decision stems from litigation filed by the Alabama and Georgia Associations of REALTORS®, two housing providers, and their property management companies challenging the CDC’s authority to issue the eviction moratorium on a number of statutory and constitutional grounds, namely under the Public Health Services Act (PHSA). The plaintiffs filed the case in defense of the millions of mom and pop housing providers across the country whose livelihoods have been in danger of financial ruin following months of lost income due to unpaid rent as a result of the moratorium. Housing providers rely on the rental payments to pay the mortgage on the properties, taxes, and general upkeep to maintain the properties’ safety and livability.
Housing providers should continue to the monitor the case, as the CDC’s eviction moratorium remains in effect nationwide given the D.C. District Court’s temporary administrative stay. A decision by the D.C. District Court on the DOJ’s emergency motion for a stay pending its appeal is anticipated in the next two weeks. If the D.C. District Court denies the DOJ’s request, the DOJ will likely elevate its request for an emergency stay to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Housing providers should also keep in mind that some state and local governments may have their own eviction moratoria that are not affected by the D.C. District Court’s rulings.
In the meantime, NAR remains focused on ensuring the effective deployment of rental assistance to protect tenants and housing providers alike and ensure all can meet their financial obligations to stabilize the housing market.
For more information, please read NAR’s Issue Brief on the CDC Eviction Moratorium Litigation.