As the Biden administration tried to quell growing criticisms from progressives about its allowing renters in vulnerable areas to lose their homes in the midst of a pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an extension to its eviction moratorium. It would be effective until Oct. 3.
As the coronavirus’ delta variant spreads and states are slow to release federal rental assistance, Tuesday’s ban could help millions of people stay in their homes. It would temporarily stop evictions from counties with “substantial or high levels” virus transmissions. The ban would also apply to areas where 90% of the U.S. populace lives.
This announcement was a reverse for the Biden administration. They had allowed an earlier moratorium, which had been set by the Supreme Court on Saturday, to expire. This sparked a bitter split between the White House, progressive Democrats and the Obama administration who demanded more from the administration to protect the homes of some 3.6 million Americans affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Biden spoke at the White House Tuesday and said he had pushed the CDC back to reconsider its options. He was still unsure if the new moratorium would be able to withstand legal challenges about its constitutionality. Biden stated that he had sought the opinion of experts to determine if the Supreme Court would approve it.
Biden stated that “the bulk of the constitutional scholarship suggests it’s unlikely to pass constitutional muster.” But there are many key scholars who believe it might and it’s well worth the effort.
The president stated that even if the moratorium is challenged in court, it will “probably give some additional time” to states and cities to release billions in federal relief for renters.
The extension could be a political win for liberal Democratic lawmakers, who had been calling for the president’s executive action to protect renters’ homes. The administration spent the last few days trying to reassure Democrats that they could find a way through federal aid to reduce the potential damage of evictions.
However, pressure grew as key legislators said it wasn’t enough.
Rep. Cori, D-Mo. was camped out at the U.S. Capitol since several days. Top Democratic leaders joined her. Overnight Monday, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.) gave her a short reprieve to allow her to rest indoors. As a young mother, the freshman congresswoman lived in her car and urged the White House not to evict many people.
Bush wiped her eyes in front of a Capitol crowd after the CDC announcement and said that she was shedding joyful tears.
She said, “My God! I don’t believe that we did this.” “We did the work by loving people to keep millions in our homes.
Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, said that it was an extraordinary day of relief.
For many families in America, the imminent fear of being evicted and put on the streets has been lifted. Pelosi stated in a statement that “Help is Here!”
Administration officials previously claimed that a Supreme Court decision had stopped them setting up a new moratorium with no congressional support. Brett Kavanaugh, one of the justices in the majority, stated that Congress would need to extend the eviction ban after the court had allowed it to continue through July.
The CDC cited Tuesday’s slow pace at which local and state governments have been disbursing housing assistance as the reason for the new moratorium.
Biden insists that the federal money available — $47 billion approved previously during the pandemic — is there and that it must be used to assist landlords and renters.
Biden stated, “The money is there.”
The White House claims that state and local governments are slow to release federal money, and is urging them to act quickly.
Janet Yellen, Treasury Secretary, briefed House Democrats Tuesday on the progress made to ensure that federal housing aid reaches landlords and renters. According to one person on the call, she provided data so lawmakers could see how their states and districts are doing in distributing the relief.
According to a person on the private call, the Treasury Secretary tried to encourage Democrats to cooperate, while lawmakers suggested that Biden should take action on his own to extend an eviction moratorium.
According to this person, Yellen stated on the call that she agreed that “we must bring every resource to bear”; that she appreciates the Democrats’ efforts, and that she wants to “leave no stone unturned.”
As part of COVID-19, the CDC placed the first eviction ban. This was in response to many workers losing income and jobs shifting. This ban was meant to stop the spread of the virus among those who were homeless or put on the streets. However, it also penalized landlords who lost their income.
Bob Pinnegar, president and CEO of National Apartment Association, stated that the organization has always maintained the same position. The eviction moratorium is an unfunded mandate by the government that requires housing providers to provide a cost-intensive service without compensation and leaves renters with insurmountable amounts of debt.
Democratic lawmakers claimed that they were taken by surprise by Biden’s initial decision to terminate the moratorium, even though the CDC had indicated in June that it wouldn’t extend the eviction ban beyond July.
Maxine Waters (the powerful chair of Financial Services Committee) has been in private conversations with Yellen for several days and urged her to use her influence to persuade states to get the money out the doors. Waters also urged the CDC not to wait for Yellen.
Waters issued a statement after Tuesday’s announcement by the CDC, thanking Biden for listening and encouraging the CDC act! This moratorium extension is the lifeline millions of families have been waiting to receive.