The Biden government announced Thursday that it would let a nationwide ban on evictions expire on Saturday, arguing that its hands were tied after the Supreme Court signaled that the moratorium would only be extended until the end of the month .
According to The Associated Press, the White House said President Biden would have preferred to extend the federal eviction moratorium over the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus. The moratorium was imposed last September by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Given the recent proliferation of the Delta variant, including Americans who are most likely to face evictions and have no vaccinations, President Biden would have strongly supported a decision by the CDC to extend this eviction moratorium to protect tenants at this point of heightened vulnerability . “” Said the White House in a statement. “Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has made it clear that this is no longer an option.”
Last month, the court raised a 5: 4 majority to continue the eviction ban until the end of July. One of those in the majority, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, made it clear that he would block any additional renewal unless there was “clear and specific approval from Congress.”
The Biden government has provided emergency aid twice for rents totaling $ 41.6 billion as part of the American Rescue Plan.
At the end of March, 6.4 million American households were behind on their rents, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. According to the US Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, as of July 5, about 3.6 million people in the US said they would need to be evicted in the next two months.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in June that this would be the final extension of the moratorium as she set the July 31 deadline. It was originally introduced to help prevent the spread of Covid. to prevent -19 from people being taken to the streets and to emergency shelters.
Housing advocates and some lawmakers have called for an extension of the moratorium due to the surge in coronavirus cases and the fact that so little rental subsidies have been distributed.
Congress has allocated nearly $ 47 billion in assistance to help tenants pay off months of rent arrears. But so far, only about $ 3 billion of the first part of the $ 25 billion through June has been distributed by states and municipalities. Some states like New York have given almost nothing while others have only granted a few million dollars.
“The confluence of the emerging Delta variant with 6.5 million arrears of rent and impending eviction after the moratorium expires requires immediate action,” said Diane Yentel, executive director of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
She added: “The need for enhanced public health protection for tenants is evident. If federal judicial proceedings make it impossible to expand widely, the Biden administration should implement all possible alternatives, including a more limited moratorium on federally supported real estate.
The National Apartment Association filed a lawsuit in federal court this week for damages on behalf of rental apartment owners who suffered severe economic losses under the federal eviction moratorium.
The suit, NAA et al. v. The United States of America, is open to all rental apartment providers who have been damaged by the federal eviction moratorium and who operate in a state or a municipality. It argues that the CDC regulation restricted several rights under the US Constitution, including: the right of access to justice, the freedom to contract with others without government interference, the right to seek damages when property is owned by state Measures withdrawn and the limits of federal government power.
Renters and landlords seeking help can use the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) new Rental Assistance Finder tool (consumerfinance.gov/renthelp) to find information about help in their area.
According to the CFPB, tenants can be protected from eviction as long as their landlord receives mortgage relief if they live in a building of five or more units and the building has a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration is the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Veterans Administration.
While landlords receive mortgage relief, they cannot terminate tenants for unpaid rent or charge late payment interest or other penalties for late rental payments. After the mortgage forbearance relief expires, landlords must give tenants at least 30 days’ notice if they wish to be vacated.
The CFPB urges tenants to take advantage of the free housing assistance by contacting the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s housing advisory program for help from a local expert. Here you will find a list of the nationwide approved advice centers.